Excel Tutorial: How To Chart On Excel


Being able to create charts on Excel is an essential skill for anyone working with data. Whether you're a student, a professional, or a business owner, being able to visually represent your data can help you make better decisions and communicate your findings effectively. In this blog post, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of creating charts on Excel, so you can elevate your data presentation game and make a lasting impact.

Key Takeaways

  • Being able to create charts on Excel is essential for working with data and making better decisions.
  • Understanding the basics of different chart types and components is important for effective data presentation.
  • Selecting and inputting data into Excel in an organized way is crucial for creating accurate charts.
  • Customizing the appearance and using chart tools can enhance the visual impact of your charts.
  • Practicing and exploring different chart options in Excel is encouraged for improving data visualization skills.

Understanding the basics of charts

Charts are an essential tool for visualizing and analyzing data in Excel. They help to present information in a more understandable and accessible format. In this section, we will explore the different types of charts available in Excel and discuss the key components of a chart.

A. Explain the different types of charts available in Excel
  • Column Charts:

    Column charts are used to compare values across different categories by using vertical bars.
  • Bar Charts:

    Bar charts are similar to column charts but use horizontal bars to represent the data.
  • Line Charts:

    Line charts are ideal for showing trends over time and connecting individual data points using lines.
  • Pie Charts:

    Pie charts display the proportion of each category as a slice of a circular pie, making it easy to visualize the contribution of each segment to the whole.
  • Area Charts:

    Area charts are similar to line charts, but the area between the line and the x-axis is filled with color, making it easier to visualize the magnitude of change over time.

B. Discuss the key components of a chart (axis, title, legend, etc.)
  • Axis:

    The x-axis and y-axis provide the scale and context for the data being displayed in the chart.
  • Title:

    The title of the chart provides a clear description of the data being represented.
  • Legend:

    The legend identifies the different data series within the chart, making it easier to interpret the information.
  • Data Series:

    The data series represent the individual sets of data that are plotted on the chart.
  • Data Labels:

    Data labels provide specific information about individual data points, making it easier to understand the values being represented.

Selecting and inputting your data

Creating a chart in Excel begins with selecting and inputting the data that you want to visualize. This step is crucial for accurately representing the information in your chart.

How to select the data you want to include in the chart

  • Select the range: To include data in your chart, click and drag to select the range of cells that contain the data you want to visualize.
  • Include labels: Make sure to include labels for your data, such as column or row headers, to accurately represent the information in your chart.

Tips for organizing and inputting the data into Excel

  • Organize your data: Before inputting your data into Excel, organize it in a clear and structured manner to make it easier to work with when creating your chart.
  • Use consistent formatting: Ensure that your data is formatted consistently, such as using the same date format or decimal places, to avoid discrepancies in your chart.
  • Input the data: Once your data is organized, input it into Excel by typing it directly into the cells or by copying and pasting it from another source.

Creating a chart

Charts are a great way to visually represent data in Excel, making it easier to analyze and understand information. Follow this step-by-step guide to create a basic chart in Excel and learn about different chart options and when to use them.

A. Step-by-step guide on how to create a basic chart in Excel
  • 1. Select your data:

    Before creating a chart, you need to select the data you want to visualize. This can be a range of cells or a table.
  • 2. Insert a chart:

    Once your data is selected, go to the "Insert" tab and click on "Charts." Choose the type of chart you want to create, such as a bar chart, line chart, or pie chart.
  • 3. Customize your chart:

    After inserting the chart, you can customize it by adding titles, axis labels, and legends. You can also change the chart type or style to better represent your data.
  • 4. Move and resize the chart:

    To make the chart more visually appealing, you can move and resize it within the worksheet. Simply click and drag the chart to reposition it, or use the resize handles to adjust its size.

B. Explaining different chart options and when to use them
  • 1. Bar chart:

    A bar chart is useful for comparing categories of data. It is best suited for displaying data that is categorized or grouped by specific criteria.
  • 2. Line chart:

    Line charts are ideal for showing trends over time. They are commonly used to visualize data that changes continuously, such as stock prices or temperature fluctuations.
  • 3. Pie chart:

    Pie charts are great for illustrating proportions and percentages. They are best used when you want to show how different parts make up a whole, such as market share or budget allocation.
  • 4. Scatter plot:

    Scatter plots are helpful for showing the relationship between two sets of data. They are used to identify patterns, correlations, or outliers in the data.

Customizing your chart

Once you've created a chart in Excel, it's important to customize it to make it visually appealing and easy to understand for your audience. Customization can include changing the appearance of the chart as well as adding labels, data points, and trend lines.

How to customize the appearance of your chart

  • Colors: To change the color of your chart, click on the chart area and select the "Format" tab. From there, you can choose different color schemes to make your chart visually appealing.
  • Fonts: You can also customize the font style and size of the text in your chart. Simply click on the text you want to change and select the "Format" tab to make adjustments.
  • Chart styles: Excel offers a variety of built-in chart styles that you can apply to your chart to instantly change its appearance. This can be found under the "Design" tab.

Adding labels, data points, and trend lines to your chart

  • Labels: To add labels to your chart, such as axis labels or a title, simply click on the chart area and select the "Layout" tab. From there, you can add or edit labels as needed.
  • Data points: You can customize the data points in your chart by selecting them and using the "Format" tab to change their appearance, including shape, size, and color.
  • Trend lines: To add trend lines to your chart, click on the data series you want to add a trend line to and select "Add Chart Element" from the "Layout" tab. Then choose "Trendline" and select the type of trend line you want to add.

Using chart tools and features

When it comes to creating visualizations in Excel, chart tools and features play a crucial role in making your data more comprehensible and engaging. Let's explore the various tools and features available for charts in Excel and provide some tips for effectively using them.

A. Exploring the various tools and features available for charts in Excel
  • Chart Types:

    Excel offers a wide range of chart types including bar, line, pie, scatter, and more. Each chart type has its own strengths and can be used to present different types of data effectively.
  • Data Labels:

    Data labels provide additional information about the data points in the chart. You can customize data labels to display values, percentages, or categories, making your charts more informative.
  • Chart Styles:

    Excel provides various chart styles and color schemes to choose from. You can easily change the appearance of your chart to match your presentation or report's aesthetic.
  • Chart Elements:

    Chart elements such as axes, gridlines, and legends can be customized to improve the readability and clarity of your charts.
  • Analytical Tools:

    Excel offers analytical tools like trendlines, error bars, and data tables to add deeper insights to your charts.

B. Tips for effectively using chart tools to enhance your visualizations
  • Choose the Right Chart Type:

    Consider the nature of your data and the story you want to tell when selecting a chart type. Choose the one that best represents your data and effectively communicates your message.
  • Use Consistent Design:

    Maintain consistency in the design of your charts in terms of color, font, and layout to ensure a professional and polished look.
  • Emphasize Key Data Points:

    Highlight important data points using features like data labels, color emphasis, or annotations to draw attention to critical information.
  • Keep It Simple:

    Avoid cluttering your charts with unnecessary elements. Keep it simple and only include the essential information to prevent confusion.
  • Customize for Audience:

    Consider the preferences and understanding of your audience when customizing your charts. Adjust the level of detail and complexity to ensure your visualizations are easily understandable.


In conclusion, the ability to chart on Excel is a crucial skill that can greatly enhance your data analysis and presentation abilities. Charts can help you visualize data trends and patterns, making it easier to understand and communicate your findings. I strongly encourage you to practice and explore different chart options in Excel to familiarize yourself with the various features and capabilities it offers. By doing so, you'll be better equipped to leverage this powerful tool for your professional and personal needs.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles