Create and format a column chart in Excel

Bar charts are used to compare data in a visual format. Add text formatting and change chart colors to make information stand out.

The steps in this guide use the formatting and layout options available in Excel 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, and Excel for Mac.

  1. How to make a bar chart in excel
  2. Create a basic column chart in Excel
  3. Enter and select card details
  4. Create a basic column chart
  5. Undo mistakes
  6. Remove gridlines from plot area
  7. Find the Chart Tool Tabs
  8. Change chart text
  9. Add and change a chart title
  10. Change font
  11. Change chart title text
  12. Change column colors
  13. Change column color
  14. Add gradient
  15. Add column scheme
  16. Move chart to separate sheet

How to make a bar chart in excel

Follow these steps to create a simple column chart in Excel:

  1. Select the data to include in the chart. Include the row and column headers, but not the data table header.

  2. Select tab Insert .

  3. In Group Graphs select Insert bar or bar chart to open a drop-down list of available chart types.

  4. Hover your mouse over a chart type to read the chart description.

  5. Select the desired chart.

A simple, unformatted chart is added to the current worksheet. The chart displays the selected data series, legend, and axis values.

Create a basic column chart in Excel

The first step in creating a chart is entering chart data. The second step is to highlight the data used to create the chart. When data is selected, the row and column headings are included in the selection, but the heading at the top of the data table is not. The title must be added to the chart manually.

If you do not have data to use in this guide, use the data shown in the image above.

Enter and select card details

Enter and select data to include in a chart:

  1. Enter data in the correct cells of the sheet

  2. Select the range of cells that contains the data you want to map. For the tutorial, select cells A2 through D5. This is the range of data represented by the bar chart.

Create a basic column chart

  1. Select Insert .

  2. In the Charts group, select Insert Column or Bar Chart to open a drop-down list of available chart types.

  3. Hover your mouse over a chart type to read the chart description.

  4. Select a chart in the 2D List Column section. To follow this guide, select 2-D clustered column to add this basic diagram to the sheet.

Undo mistakes

There are many different parts of a chart in Excel. In the Excel chart, you will find a chart area that contains a bar chart. The chart shows the selected data series, a legend, and a chart title.

All of these parts are considered separate objects and each can be formatted separately. You select the part of the chart you want to format by clicking on it with your mouse pointer. If the results aren’t what you expect, make sure the right side of the chart is selected before applying the formatting.

The most common mistake is to click the chart area in the center of the chart when the entire chart needs to be selected. The easiest way to highlight the entire chart is to select the top left or right corner of the chart title.

If you make a mistake, correct it with Excel’s undo function to fix the error. After removing the error, select the correct part of the chart and try again.

Remove gridlines from plot area

Your chart may contain gridlines that run horizontally across the plot area. These gridlines make it easier to read values ​​for specific data points, especially in charts that contain a lot of data.

Since there are only three data series in this chart, the data points are relatively easy to read. Gridlines are not necessary.

To remove gridlines from a chart, do the following:

  1. Select a grid line. This will select all gridlines and small blue circles will appear at the end of each gridline.

  2. Choose a big green plus ( + ), which is located on the right side of the diagram.

  3. Uncheck the box Net .

Find the Chart Tool Tabs

When you create a chart in Excel or select an existing chart, two additional tabs are added to the ribbon.

These tabs are Chart Tools, Design, and Formatting , , contain formatting and layout options specific to charts. These options are used in the following steps to add a title to the column chart and change the colors of the chart.

Change chart text

Add and change a chart title

  1. Select a field in the chart Chart title and enter a title.

  2. Select the green plus sign ( + ) on the right side of the graph.

  3. Select the arrow next to chart title .

  4. Select the desired location for your headline. Or select for more formatting options extra options .

In Excel 2010 and 2007, basic charts do not contain chart titles. They must be added separately. Select Layout > Chart title to add a chart title.

Change font

Changing the default font for all text in a chart improves the appearance of the chart. It also makes the legend and the names and values ​​of the axes easier to read.

These changes are made using the options in the Fonts section of the tab. House .

Change chart title text

  1. Select Chart title .

  2. Select tab House .

  3. In the font section of the ribbon, select Font style to open the drop-down list of available fonts.

  4. Scroll to find and select the font you want to use. The title text changes to the selected font.

To change the legend and axis text, select the Legend or Axis text box and repeat these steps.

Change column colors

You can change the appearance of the data columns by changing the colors, adding a gradient, and adding an outline to each column. Use the Shape Fill and Shape Outline options on the Format tab to make these changes.

Change column color

  1. Select a column in the chart to select all its columns.

  2. Select Format .

  3. Select fill form to open the Fill Colors drop-down menu.

  4. Pick a color.

Add gradient

  1. Select a column.

  2. Select Format > Mold filling to open the Fill Colors drop-down menu.

  3. Move your mouse over course to open the Gradient panel.

  4. Hover over the gradient to see how it will look on your chart.

  5. Select a gradient.

Add column scheme

  1. Select a column.

  2. Select Format > figure shape to open the Shape Shape drop-down menu.

  3. Select colour that you want to use as the schema for each column.

  4. Select Format > figure shape .

  5. move over Weight to open a list of options.

  6. Choose a thickness.

Move chart to separate sheet

Moving the chart to a separate sheet makes it easier to print the chart and can also reduce the clutter on a large sheet of data.

  1. Select the chart background to highlight the entire chart.

  2. Select tab Design .

  3. Select Move chart to open the Move Chart dialog box.

  4. Choose an option new leaf and give the sheet a name.

  5. Select Okay to close the dialog box. The chart is now on a separate sheet and the new name is displayed on the sheet tab.

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