Graphs and tables make it easy to visualize information in a clear, easy to digest and attractive way. Why scroll through tons of data in spreadsheets when you can turn that information into a visual chart or graph? You can easily create a chart in MS Excel instead of exporting data to some third party tools.
Generally, charts and tables are very similar to each other in Excel and are used interchangeably. Charts are a visual representation of trends and changes in data over a period of time; however, charts are a type of representation of large data sets, where categories may or may not be related to each other. Charts are generally used to analyze raw data or exact numbers while charts find their use in business presentations and survey results.
You can create charts and graphs essentially the same way in Excel, the only difference is what you’re using it for. Some data is best represented in a line chart, while other data is displayed in pie charts. However, for some people, creating charts in Microsoft Excel can be a bit intimidating. But. Creating charts and graphs in Excel is quite easy. So let’s take a look at how to make a chart in Excel.
The first step in creating a chart is to enter your data into Excel. You can export your data from somewhere else or you can enter it manually.
We created an example data as shown below and we will use this sample data to show you how to create a chart and edit it.
Highlight the data sets you want to use in your chart by clicking and dragging across the cells as shown below.
Choose a graph or table
This is the most important step as you need to determine what kind of chart you want to make based on your data. Some charts are best rendered in 3D columns while others are best rendered in 2D lines or a pie chart.
To choose your chart, go to the ‘Insert’ tab at the top of the Excel window and go to the ‘Charts’ group. As you can see various chart types grouped in dropdown menus, click on the icon and expand the dropdown menu and choose your chart. You can also click the “Recommended Charts” icon and see what kind of charts Excel recommends for you based on your data.
Click on any chart in the “Recommended Charts” tab to see what your data will look like. If you don’t like any of the recommended charts, click ‘All Charts’ to see all available chart types.
You can choose any type of chart you want on the left side and on the side you choose the style of the chart. We are choosing the ‘Column’ type and ‘Clustered Column’ style for our chart. Even if you don’t like your chart type, you can change it at any time.
This is what the created chart (image below) will look like after choosing the chart type.
Data shift between X axis and Y axis
The chart may not display the way you want. If you don’t like it, you can always use the ‘Change Row/Column’ option in the ‘Layout’ tab to change the X-axis and Y-axis parameters to change the look.
Now the chart can look like this (image below) if we change the parameters using the ‘Change rows/columns’ option.
Add a title to the chart
Now, to add a title to the chart, go to the ‘Layout’ tab and click ‘Add Chart Element’ or just click the plus sign next to the chart to do the same functions. Then expand the ‘Chart Title’ setting and choose the ‘Top of Chart’ or ‘Centered Overlay’ option to position the chart title where you want it.
To change the look of your title, right click on the title and open the format menu and then you can style the title as you like.
Format chart elements
To redesign your chart elements, you can right-click on the chart and customize your chart elements using the Format menu.
You can also adjust the size and layout of your legend to make it easier to read. To do this, simply right click on the legend and choose ‘Font’ to adjust the font. By clicking the ‘Format Legend’ option, you can change the position of the legend and its effects.
To change the measurement value that appears on the Y-axis, right-click the Y-axis on your chart and click the ‘Format Axis’ option to open the ‘Format Axis’ window and click the ‘Format Axis’ option. ‘Axis Options’ tab. Here, you can change the ‘Limit’ and ‘Units’ values on the Y axis.
Here, we change the Max value in ‘Limits’ to 1000 and the Main value in ‘Units’ to 50 in the ‘Axis Options’ tab. It will now be reflected on the chart as shown in the image below.
Move chart location
You can change the style and layout of your chart using various options available on the ‘Layout’ tab. You can also move your chart from one sheet to another sheet in the same Excel document. To do so, click the ‘Move Chart Location’ option.
In the popup option, click the dropdown menu next to ‘Object On’ and select the sheet you want the chart to move on. If you click ‘New Sheet’ and type your name, Excel will create a separate new sheet just for the chart and the chart will be moved there.
You can add data labels to your chart to focus your readers’ attention on a single data series or data point. To do that, click the plus sign next to the chart and expand the ‘Data Labels’ option and select where you want to place your data labels on the chart. In the example below, we select ‘Outer End’ and place our data labels at the outer ends of the data points.
That is all. We hope that our article will help you to create a beautiful Chart/Graph in Excel.