Creating a triple bar graph in a spreadsheet program follows similar steps to creating a single bar graph. The data entered for a bar graph requires the establishment of an independent variable and dependent variables. For this tutorial, we will use the independent variable of mammals and the dependent variables of counts of those animals over a three-week period. On the final graph, the independent variable labels the x-axis, while the dependent variables label the y-axis and provide the numbers for the triple bars.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Spreadsheet program
Open the spreadsheet program and create a new workbook. In cell A1, type "Mammal" to serve as the column heading. Leave A2 blank. Starting in A3 and ending in A6, type each of the following animals (one per cell): bear, fox, wolf, and mink.
Type "Count" into cell B1 to serve as the column heading. Type "Week 1" in cell B2. Beginning in cell B3 and ending in B6, type the following numbers (one per cell): 45, 230, 87, and 134.
Type "Week 2" into cell C2. Starting with cell C3 and ending with C6, type the following numbers (one per cell): 34, 187, 92, and 154.
Type "Week 3" into cell D2. Starting with cell D3 and ending with D6, type in the following numbers (with one entry per cell): 23, 144, 97, and 174.
To highlight all of the data on the spreadsheet, press the blank grey square in the upper-left corner (to the left of the A and above the 1). Select the "Chart Wizard" from the toolbar or from under the "Insert" menu.
In the Chart Wizard, select "Column" under the "Chart type" heading. This is what Excel calls a vertical bar graph. Highlight the first option under "Chart subtype" to create a basic bar graph. Click "Next".
On the next screen, click the bubble next to "Columns" in the "Series in" section. This indicates that the data is presented in columns. Ensure that the cells listed in the "Data range" box match what was used in the spreadsheet. Check the graph preview for mistakes. If the information is correct, click "Next".
Enter a title for the chart in the appropriate field. Type "Mammals" under "Category X Axis" and "Count (per week)" under "Value Y Axis". Turn the "Legend" on under the "Legend" tab. Click "Finish".
Check the final graph for errors. The horizontal x-axis should be labelled "Mammals" and the vertical y-axis with "Count (per week)". Each listed mammal needs three, differently coloured bars above it. The legend provides the colour code for each represented week. If the chart looks good, save the spreadsheet.
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