How to create a bar graph from an excel spreadsheet

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For most people, a picture is more compelling than columns of numbers in cells, so convert your spreadsheet to a bar chart or line graph. These steps are intended for Microsoft Excel 97.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Excel Book
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Office

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Start Microsoft Excel, and open the file you want to use to make a chart.

  2. 2

    Drag the cursor over the columns you want to show in your chart.

  3. 3

    Open the Insert menu, and select Chart. You can also select the chart icon on the toolbar.

  4. 4

    Select the type of chart you want to make, such as a line graph or pie chart, from the list on the left.

  5. 5

    Press Finish if you do not want to label or format your chart.

  6. 6

    Press Next to label and format your chart.

  1. 1

    In the box that appears after you clicked Next, click the Series tab.

  2. 2

    Click on Series1, and enter a label for your data, such as "Number of Widgets per Month," in the Name field.

  3. 3

    Click on any additional series, and name those as well.

  4. 4

    Click Next.

  5. 5

    Select the Titles tab to label your chart and both its x-axis and y-axis.

  6. 6

    Select the Axes, Gridlines, or Legend tabs to format the look of your chart.

  7. 7

    Select the Data Label tab to label specific points on your chart.

  8. 8

    Select the Data Table tab to add a table of chart data under your chart.

  9. 9

    Click Next.

  10. 10

    Decide whether you want your chart on a new worksheet or on the same worksheet with your current Excel entries.

  11. 11

    Click Finish.

Tips and warnings

  • You do not need to select an entire column.
  • A bar graph shows how data has changed over a period of time.
  • A line chart shows trends at intervals.
  • Use the Back button if you want to change your selection.
  • Press Cancel if you do not want to continue creating your chart.
  • After the chart is done, you can also use the Chart menu to change the chart format.
  • Use the Chart Wizard provided with Excel.
  • Use the Back button if you want to change your selection.
  • Press Cancel if you do not want to continue creating your chart.

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