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How to Use Microsoft Excel to Draw Control Charts and Graphs

Updated February 21, 2017

Control charts are used in statistical process control and demonstrates how a process changes over time. Usually, time is plotted on the X axis (the horizontal axis) and some other variable (the one you want to measure) is plotted on the Y Axis. They are sometimes called Shewhart charts or process-behaviour charts. Microsoft Excel can help you create a process chart. Because they are fairly complex to build from scratch, you will save time by downloading a template.

Open a new file by clicking on the “Office” button and choosing “New.”

Type “control chart” into the ‘Search Microsoft Office Online for Templates’ box.

Click on the control chart that appears, then click the “Download” button. The file will download and automatically open. At this stage, you can tailor the control sheet to fit your needs, perhaps by changing the titles in the columns or by placing different totals in the boxes.

Graph the control chart. Highlight the text by left clicking at the top left corner of the data and then dragging the cursor to the bottom right. Choose “Insert->Chart” from the toolbar and choose your chart type. For example, click on “2D column graph.” Excel will insert your chart automatically.

Go to the Microsoft Office Templates website and then type in "Control Sheet" into the search box.

Click the "Download" button. The template will download and install.

Click on "File->Open" from Excel and locate the file you just downloaded. Press "OK." The control sheet template will open up. You can adjust the template to suit your needs (for example, different numbers in the rows).

Click on "Insert->Chart" and follow the directions in the Chart Wizard to create a chart (for example, choose a column chart to display your data).

Tip

Change any feature on your chart (for example, delete bars, change colours or rotate axes) by right-clicking on any chart element and selecting "Format."

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About the Author

Stephanie Ellen teaches mathematics and statistics at the university and college level. She coauthored a statistics textbook published by Houghton-Mifflin. She has been writing professionally since 2008. Ellen holds a Bachelor of Science in health science from State University New York, a master's degree in math education from Jacksonville University and a Master of Arts in creative writing from National University.