How to make a bar graph in Excel to visually represent your dataset
- You can make a bar graph in
Excelby first selecting the range of data you want to depict, and then using the dropdown menu to select the desired chart.
- A bar graph represents the data of an Excel sheet in an easy-to-read visual graphic.
- There are several types of bar graphs that work for different data sets.
When collecting, analyzing, and sharing data in an Excel chart, it is helpful to be able to represent it in a manner that is quickly and easily understood. Creating a bar or column graph is a great way to do so, since you can visually compare the length or height of the bars in a category to get a general idea of the data set.
In a bar graph, the chart represents the data as horizontal bars along two axes. This can be helpful if the category names are longer so they can extend out left. There are also several types of bar graphs that suit different data sets.
For example, if you have several types of data in each category, you can use a clustered bar to represent it side-by-side in a single category or a stacked bar to represent individual data points as parts of a whole. You can also choose a 3-D chart to add some aesthetic texture to the graph.
These different graph options are relatively easy to create in Excel when you're looking to visually represent a data range.
How to make a bar graph in Excel
First, open the Excel application and retrieve the spreadsheet you're pulling the data from. The bar graph needs to have a range of data before you can make it.
1. Highlight the range of data you want to represent. You can either click and drag for several neighboring columns.
2. To select columns that are not next to each other, select one column, then hit Control and drag over the other column.
3. Click on "Insert" in the top toolbar, then click on the Bar Chart icon in the Charts group.
4. Go to "2-D Bar". There is also an option below it to create the bars in "3-D" to add some depth to your chart.
5. Within any graph type, you can represent your data as clustered or stacked. The former will show each category as two bars side-by-side and the latter will combine all the data into one multi-colored bar per category. Hover your cursor over your preference.
6. Click on the type of bar graph you want. The graph menu will disappear as your graph is now part of your document.
7. To change the title of your graph, click on "Chart Title" at the top of the chart. You can also change the category names along the X and Y axes by clicking on them.
You can leave your finished bar chart directly in the spreadsheet or you can drag and place it on a separate sheet. Click "Finish" when you're done.
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