How to Create a Histogram in PowerPoint

A histogram, a quality-control tool, shows a graphical representation of statistical data. It allows you to assess the probability distribution of a variable by displaying the frequencies of events occurring in a range of values. Using Excel, you can analyse data and create a histogram using the "Histogram" tool that is part of the "Analysis ToolPak" and then paste the chart into your PowerPoint presentation. You can also create a histogram using a PowerPoint chart and inserting line shapes and labels to show the cumulative percentage.

Arrange your data into columns on paper to organise yourself before creating a histogram in PowerPoint. For example, list input data in one column and the range in the second column. Identify the frequency of the data occurring within each of the ranges of the second column.

Open PowerPoint to create a new presentation so you can build your chart based on the information you've organised on paper. Right-click on the slide. Choose the "Layout" option. Click the "Title and Content" layout. Click the "Click to add title" text box, and type "Histogram."

Click the "Insert Chart" button. Choose the first "Clustered Column" option. Click "OK." Because you will show only two columns of information, drag the right corner of the range so it ends at Column B. Press the "Ctrl" and "A" keys and then press the "Delete" key to delete the default data and add your own. For example, in column A, enter the following data:






In column B, enter the following data:






Click the "Microsoft Office" button in the Excel window, and click the "Close" option to return to the PowerPoint window.

Add a text box to list the percentage legend to the right of your column chart. From the "Insert" menu, click the "Text Box" information and enter this text:







Add a cumulative percentage point line. For example, under the "Insert" menu, choose the "Shapes" option and select a line. Draw a line from each column to the next column to show the increasing cumulative percentage for the bin range. Insert a text box to label the percentage complete. For example, on the 60 value column, 30% of the data is represented. On the 80 value column, 60% of the data is represented. On the 20 value column, 80% of the data is represented. On the 40 value column, 100% of the data is represented.

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About the Author

Tara Duggan is a Project Management Professional (PMP) specializing in knowledge management and instructional design. For over 25 years she has developed quality training materials for a variety of products and services supporting such companies as Digital Equipment Corporation, Compaq and HP. Her freelance work is published on various websites.