How to Make a Matrix on Excel

Updated February 21, 2017

In Excel, a matrix is a graphic that allows you to visualise relationships between different groups or items within your files. Create and use a matrix to illustrate data or subsets of data, as you would with a table or graph. A matrix consists of squares or rectangles, and you can alter the colouring, size and text within the graphic to suit your needs. Excel offers various styles and options so that you can create a customised matrix specific to your data and goal.

Open Excel and navigate to the "Insert" menu.

Select "Illustrations" and then scroll through the options to select "SmartArt." Open the "SmartArt" option.

Click on "Matrix" from the "SmartArt" gallery. Choose the layout option that best fits your needs. Options include the "Basic Matrix," a "Grid Matrix" and "Titled Matrix". The Titled Matrix allows you to emphasise the relationship between groups and the whole, while a Grid Matrix emphasises the differences between groups. A Basic Matrix does not contain a grid or title.

Add text to your matrix by clicking on "[Text]" and writing in your text or pasting it from another source.

Navigate to "Design" and select "SmartArt Tools."

Select "Change Colors" under "SmartArt Styles."

Scroll through the colour list and choose the colour that you'd like. To change the colours of the borders or background, right-click on the area that you want to change and select "Format Shape" from the menu. Choose either "Line Color" or "Fill" depending on if you are changing the border or background, then select the colour from the menu.

Change the look of your matrix by changing the SmartArt style. Navigate through "SmartArt Tools" and then "SmartArt styles," where you can scroll through various style options to change the appearance of your matrix.

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Sarah Thomas has been a freelance writer for more than five years. She has ghostwritten e-books and articles on weddings and other topics. Her work has also been published on various websites. Thomas graduated from Daemen College with a degree in psychology.