Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Chart In Excel Without Numbers


When it comes to creating a chart in Excel, many people think it's only possible to do so with numerical data. However, visualizing non-numerical data in a chart format can be just as important and impactful. In this tutorial, we'll walk you through the process of creating a chart in Excel without using numbers, and highlight the significance of visualizing non-numeric data in a clear and concise manner.

Key Takeaways

  • Visualizing non-numerical data in a chart format is just as important and impactful as visualizing numerical data.
  • Understanding non-numerical data in Excel and how to represent it in a chart is essential for effective data visualization.
  • Choosing the right chart type and utilizing visual elements can enhance the visualization of non-numerical data.
  • Customizing the chart design is crucial for effectively representing non-numerical data and enhancing visual appeal.
  • It is important to apply the tips and techniques learned to create charts without numerical data in Excel for effective data visualization.

Understanding Non-Numerical Data in Excel

When working with Excel, most people think of numerical data when it comes to creating charts and visualizations. However, it is also possible to create charts with non-numerical data. Understanding how to work with non-numerical data in Excel can open up new possibilities for data visualization and analysis.

A. Define non-numerical data in the context of Excel

Non-numerical data in Excel refers to any data that is not primarily comprised of numbers or numerical values. This can include text, dates, categories, and other non-numeric information. In the context of creating charts, non-numerical data can be used to represent different categories or labels, and can be visualized in various chart formats.

B. Provide examples of non-numerical data that can be visualized in a chart format

  • Text data: Non-numerical data such as names, descriptions, or labels can be visualized in charts. For example, a pie chart can be used to show the distribution of different products in a sales report.
  • Date data: Dates can also be used in charts, such as a line chart showing the trend of sales over time.
  • Category data: Categorical data, such as types of products or customer segments, can be visualized in bar charts or stacked column charts to compare different categories.
  • Yes/no data: Binary data can be represented in charts, such as a percentage stacked bar chart to show the proportion of "yes" and "no" responses in a survey.

Choosing the Right Chart Type

When working with non-numerical data in Excel, it's important to choose the right chart type to effectively visualize the information. Here are some factors to consider when making your selection.

A. Discuss the different types of charts that are suitable for non-numerical data.
  • Bar Charts:

    These are suitable for comparing categories or showing the frequency of non-numeric items.
  • Pie Charts:

    Pie charts can effectively display the proportion of different categories in a data set.
  • Scatter Plots:

    While typically used for numerical data, scatter plots can also be used to show relationships between non-numeric data points.
  • Word Clouds:

    Word clouds are ideal for displaying the frequency of words in a text-based data set.
  • Tree Maps:

    These charts are useful for visualizing hierarchical data and the proportion of each category within the hierarchy.

B. Explain the factors to consider when selecting a chart type for non-numerical data.
  • Data Structure:

    Consider the structure of your non-numeric data and how it can best be represented visually. For example, if you have hierarchical data, a tree map might be the most effective choice.
  • Message Clarity:

    Think about the message you want to convey with your data and choose a chart type that will make that message clear to your audience.
  • Visual Appeal:

    Consider the visual appeal of the chart type and how it will engage your audience. Word clouds, for example, can be visually striking and draw attention to key words or concepts.

Using Labels and Categories

When working with non-numerical data in Excel, such as names, dates, or categories, it is still possible to create a chart to visually represent the information. By using labels and categories, you can effectively convey the data in a chart without the need for numerical values.

A. Explain how to use labels and categories to represent non-numerical data in a chart.

Labels and categories in Excel are used to identify and group different types of data. In a chart, these can be represented by the X and Y axes, as well as by the different series or data points.

  • X-axis Labels: The X-axis labels can represent categories or names, such as different products, months of the year, or regions.
  • Y-axis Labels: The Y-axis labels can also be non-numerical, such as qualitative ratings or status indicators.
  • Data Series: Different data series in a chart can be used to represent different categories or groups, such as sales by region or project status.

B. Provide step-by-step instructions for creating labels and categories in Excel.

Creating labels and categories in Excel is a straightforward process that involves organizing your non-numerical data into appropriate cells and then selecting the data for your chart.

  1. Organize Your Data: In your Excel worksheet, organize your non-numerical data into separate columns or rows, with clear labels for each category or group.
  2. Select Your Data: Once your data is organized, select the cells that contain the labels and categories you want to use in your chart.
  3. Create Your Chart: With your data selected, go to the "Insert" tab and choose the type of chart you want to create. Excel will automatically use your selected labels and categories to populate the chart.
  4. Customize Your Chart: After creating the chart, you can further customize the labels and categories by adjusting the axis titles, data series names, and other chart elements to accurately represent your non-numerical data.

Utilizing Visual Elements for Non-Numerical Data

When working with non-numerical data, it can be challenging to create a meaningful and informative chart in Excel. However, by utilizing visual elements such as shapes and icons, you can effectively represent non-numerical data in a chart.

A. Discuss the use of visual elements such as shapes and icons to represent non-numerical data in a chart

Visual elements such as shapes and icons can be used to convey non-numerical information in a chart. Instead of relying solely on numbers, these visual elements can help in creating a more engaging and comprehensible representation of non-numerical data.

B. Provide examples of how visual elements can enhance the visualization of non-numerical data

  • Using Icons: Icons can be used to represent different categories or types of non-numerical data in a chart. For example, a chart representing customer satisfaction levels can use smiley faces or stars to visually depict the satisfaction level of each customer.
  • Utilizing Shapes: Shapes can be utilized to visually differentiate between different non-numerical data points in a chart. For instance, a chart representing different stages of a project can use different colored shapes to indicate each stage, making it easier for the audience to understand the progress.
  • Combining Visual Elements: Visual elements can also be combined to create a more comprehensive representation of non-numerical data in a chart. For example, a chart representing the performance of different products can use a combination of icons, shapes, and colors to showcase various aspects such as popularity, quality, and customer feedback.

Customizing the Chart Design

When it comes to making a chart in Excel without numbers, customizing the design of the chart is crucial to effectively represent non-numerical data. By focusing on the visual elements of the chart, you can create an engaging and informative visualization that communicates your data clearly.

Discuss the Importance of Customizing the Design

One of the key reasons for customizing the design of a chart is to ensure that it accurately represents non-numerical data. Without the reliance on numerical values, the visual aspects such as shapes, images, and colors play a pivotal role in conveying the information effectively. By customizing the design, you can create a chart that is visually appealing and aligns with the subject matter being presented.

Provide Tips for Customizing Colors, Fonts, and Other Visual Elements

Colors: When creating a chart without numerical data, using colors strategically can help differentiate between different categories or elements. Consider using a color scheme that is visually harmonious and avoids any potential confusion for the viewer.

Fonts: The choice of fonts can have a significant impact on the overall visual appeal of the chart. Select fonts that are easy to read and complement the overall design of the chart. Experiment with different font styles to find the most suitable option for your non-numerical data representation.

Other Visual Elements: Beyond colors and fonts, consider incorporating other visual elements such as icons, images, or patterns to enhance the chart's visual appeal. These elements can help to add context and interest to the data being presented, making it more engaging for the audience.


In conclusion, this tutorial has provided valuable insights into creating charts in Excel without relying on numerical data. We have discussed the steps to effectively visualize non-numerical data by using different types of charts such as pie charts, bar graphs, and radar charts. It is important to emphasize that visualizing non-numerical data is crucial for making informed decisions and identifying trends. Therefore, I encourage you to apply the tips and techniques learned in this tutorial to create charts without numerical data in Excel and enhance the visual representation of your data.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles