Excel Tutorial: How To Make Charts On Microsoft Excel

Introduction


Welcome to our Excel tutorial series! In this post, we will be focusing on how to make charts on Microsoft Excel. Charts are an essential tool for visualizing data and gaining valuable insights. Whether you're a student, professional, or business owner, knowing how to create effective and visually appealing charts in Excel can greatly enhance your data analysis and presentation skills.


Key Takeaways


  • Charts are essential for visualizing data and gaining insights
  • Understanding different chart types and when to use them is crucial
  • Creating and customizing charts in Excel can greatly enhance data analysis and presentation skills
  • Formatting and styling charts can make them visually appealing and effective
  • Utilizing chart tools like pivot charts, sparklines, and trendlines can further enhance data visualization


Understanding Chart Types in Excel


Charts are a visual representation of data that can help users to interpret, understand, and analyze large sets of information more easily. Microsoft Excel offers a variety of chart types to choose from, each designed to best represent different types of data. Understanding the various chart types available in Excel and when to use each type is crucial for effectively presenting and analyzing data.

A. Explain the different types of charts available in Excel

Excel offers a wide range of chart types, each with its own specific purpose and use. Some of the most common chart types in Excel include:

  • Column Chart: A column chart is used to compare values across different categories. It is represented by vertical bars, with the height of each bar proportional to the value it represents.
  • Line Chart: A line chart is used to show trends over a period of time. It is represented by a series of data points connected by straight lines.
  • Pie Chart: A pie chart is used to show the proportion of each value to the total. It is represented by a circular graph divided into slices, with each slice representing a percentage of the whole.
  • Bar Chart: Similar to a column chart, a bar chart is used to compare values across different categories. However, the bars in a bar chart are horizontal instead of vertical.
  • Area Chart: An area chart is used to show the trend of values over time, similar to a line chart. However, the area between the line and the x-axis is filled with color, making it easier to visualize the magnitude of change.
  • Scatter Plot: A scatter plot is used to show the relationship between two variables. It is represented by a series of points, with each point representing a different combination of values for the two variables.

B. Discuss when to use each type of chart based on the data being presented

Choosing the right type of chart is essential for effectively presenting data. The selection of a chart type depends on the nature of the data and the message that needs to be conveyed. Here are some general guidelines for when to use each type of chart:

Column Chart and Bar Chart


Column and bar charts are best used when comparing values across different categories. For example, to compare sales performance across different regions or to show the distribution of different product categories.

Line Chart and Area Chart


Line and area charts are useful for showing trends over time. They are commonly used to illustrate the rise or fall of data points over a period, such as stock prices over a year or monthly sales figures.

Pie Chart


Pie charts are ideal for showing the proportion of each value to the total. They are often used to represent market share, budget allocation, or any other data where the individual components make up a whole.

Scatter Plot


Scatter plots are used to display the relationship between two variables. They are commonly used in scientific and engineering fields to show how changes in one variable affect another, such as the correlation between rainfall and crop yield.

By understanding the different types of charts available in Excel and when to use each type based on the data being presented, users can effectively communicate their data and draw meaningful insights from their analysis.


Creating a Chart in Excel


Microsoft Excel is a powerful tool for creating and analyzing data. One of its key features is the ability to easily create charts and graphs to visually represent your data. In this tutorial, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to create a basic chart in Excel and offer tips for selecting the appropriate data for the chart.

Step-by-step guide on how to create a basic chart in Excel


  • Step 1: Open the Excel workbook and navigate to the worksheet containing the data you want to use for the chart.
  • Step 2: Select the range of data that you want to include in the chart. This should typically include the labels for the x-axis and the corresponding values for the y-axis.
  • Step 3: With the data selected, go to the "Insert" tab on the Excel ribbon and click on the type of chart you want to create (e.g., bar chart, line chart, pie chart, etc.).
  • Step 4: Once you click on the desired chart type, Excel will automatically generate the chart and place it on the same worksheet as your data. You can then customize the chart further by adding titles, legends, and other elements as needed.

Tips for selecting the appropriate data for the chart


  • Data relevance: Ensure that the data you select for the chart is relevant to the story or message you want to convey. Avoid including excessive or irrelevant data points.
  • Data accuracy: Double-check the accuracy of your data before creating the chart. Any errors or discrepancies in the data can lead to misleading chart representations.
  • Data consistency: Make sure that the data you select for the chart is consistent and follows a logical progression. For example, if you are creating a time series chart, ensure that the time intervals are consistent.

By following these steps and tips, you can effectively create compelling charts in Excel to visually represent your data and aid in data analysis.


Customizing Charts in Excel


When it comes to creating visually appealing and informative charts using Microsoft Excel, customization is key. In this section, we will explore the various options available for customizing charts and how to add titles, labels, and legends to make your charts more impactful.

Exploring the Various Customization Options for Charts


  • Data Series: Excel allows you to customize the appearance of each data series in your chart. You can change the color, style, and thickness of the lines or bars to differentiate between multiple data sets.
  • Chart Elements: You can add or remove chart elements such as axes, gridlines, and data labels to better illustrate the data. Excel provides a wide range of customization options for these elements.
  • Chart Styles: Excel offers a variety of pre-set chart styles that you can apply to your chart with just a few clicks. These styles include different combinations of colors, effects, and layouts.
  • Formatting Options: You can customize the font, color, size, and alignment of the chart title, axis titles, and data labels to match the overall look and feel of your presentation.

Adding Titles, Labels, and Legends to the Chart


  • Title: A descriptive and concise title is essential for any chart. You can add a title that summarizes the main point of the chart and provides context for the data.
  • Axis Labels: Clearly labeled axes are crucial for understanding the data. You can add axis labels to indicate the units of measurement and provide additional information about the data being displayed.
  • Data Labels: Data labels can be added to individual data points to display the exact values, percentages, or category names, making it easier for the audience to interpret the chart.
  • Legend: If your chart includes multiple data series, adding a legend can help your audience understand which data series corresponds to which color or pattern in the chart.


Formatting and Styling Charts


When creating a chart in Microsoft Excel, it’s important to not only convey the data accurately but also to make it visually appealing. This can be achieved by formatting and styling the chart elements to enhance its overall presentation.

Discuss how to change the colors and styles of the chart elements


One way to enhance the visual appeal of your chart is by changing the colors and styles of its elements. To do this, simply click on the chart element you want to format, such as the data series, axis, or title, and then right-click to access the formatting options. You can then choose from a variety of color palettes and styles to customize the appearance of the chart elements. This allows you to match the chart to your overall design aesthetic or corporate branding, making it more visually engaging and professional.

Exploring advanced formatting techniques to make the chart visually appealing


Aside from basic color and style changes, there are advanced formatting techniques that can further enhance the visual appeal of your chart. This includes options such as adding gradients, shadows, and transparency to the chart elements, as well as adjusting the borders and effects to create a more polished and professional look. You can also experiment with different chart layouts and styles, such as 3D effects or custom chart shapes, to create a unique and visually stunning chart that effectively conveys your data.


Using Chart Tools in Excel


Excel offers a variety of chart tools that enable users to create visually appealing charts and graphs to represent their data. Understanding how to use these tools can greatly enhance the presentation and interpretation of data.

A. Introduction to the chart tools available in Excel

Excel provides a range of chart tools that can be accessed through the "Insert" tab on the ribbon. These tools include bar charts, line charts, pie charts, and more. Each type of chart has its own set of customization options, allowing users to create the perfect visual representation of their data.

B. How to use features like pivot charts, sparklines, and trendlines

Pivot charts allow users to summarize and analyze data dynamically. They can be created from pivot tables and provide a visual representation of the data's trends and patterns.

1. Sparklines


Sparklines are small, in-cell charts that provide a visual representation of data trends within a single cell. They are ideal for displaying trends and variations in a compact and easily digestible format.

2. Trendlines


Trendlines are used to show trends in data over time or other ordered categories. They can be added to line, column, and scatter charts to help identify patterns and make predictions based on the data.


Conclusion


By following this Excel tutorial, you have learned the essential steps to create charts in Microsoft Excel. Remember to select the right data, choose the suitable chart type, and customize the design to effectively convey your data. Now it's time to put your new skills into practice and start creating your own charts in Excel. With a bit of practice, you'll be able to produce visually appealing and informative charts to enhance your data analysis and presentations.

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