How to make a bar chart in excel

Creating a bar chart is a great way to graphically represent data from an Excel spreadsheet. Bar charts are useful for comparing different data values ​​across multiple categories. Here’s how to create a simple bar chart in Excel.

Remark . The instructions in this article apply to Excel 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010; Excel for Office 365 and Excel for Mac.

Content
  1. Create Basic Excel Column Chart
  2. Replace main chart title
  3. Select different parts of the chart
  4. Change chart style
  5. Change chart design
  6. Change column colors
  7. Change chart background color
  8. Change chart text color
  9. Change font, size and accent
  10. Change the appearance of title text in a chart
  11. Change legend and axis text
  12. Add gridlines to your column chart
  13. Change the color of the gridlines
  14. Format X-axislijn
  15. Move chart to separate sheet

Create Basic Excel Column Chart

Entering the required data into your spreadsheet is the first step in creating a chart. Start by setting up a spreadsheet with your data and make sure to create a column for each category.

In the example above, the columns contain categories for chocolate, lemon, and oatmeal cookies.

To follow this guide, open a blank sheet and enter the information shown in the image above.

The steps below create a basic column chart. This is a simple, unformatted chart that displays your data, a basic legend, and a default chart title.

  1. Select the range of cells that contains your data.

  2. Select Insert .

  3. In the Charts group, select Insert bar or bar chart to open a list of available chart types.

  4. Hover your mouse over a chart type to read the chart description and preview what the chart will look like with your data.

  5. Under Column 2-D, select Column clustered column to add this basic diagram to the sheet.

Not sure which chart type best suits your data? Highlight data and select Insert > Recommended charts to see a list of offers.

Replace main chart title

The diagram may not contain all the information you need to make it meaningful. Start by changing the title of your chart to something more descriptive.

Here’s how to replace the chart title:

  1. Select default chart title . A box appears around the words Chart Title.

  2. Select chart title a second time to put Excel into edit mode. This places the cursor in the title field.

  3. Delete standard text with key backspace .

  4. Enter a new title.

To create a chart title on two separate lines, click Enter to move from the first line to the second.

Select different parts of the chart

There are many different parts of a chart in Excel. Chart area contains the selected data series, legend, and chart title. All of these parts are considered separate objects and each is formatted separately. You tell Excel which part of the chart you want to format by selecting it.

If you make a mistake, quickly correct it with Excel’s undo feature. After you fix the error, select the right side of the chart and try again.

A common mistake is choosing an area image in the center of the chart instead of selecting the entire chart. The easiest way to select an entire chart is to select a blank area in the top left or right corner of the chart.

Change chart style

When you create a chart in Excel or select an existing chart, two additional tabs are added to the ribbon, as shown in the image below. These Chart Tools Design and Format tabs contain formatting and layout options specific to charts.

These chart tools are used in the following steps to format the bar chart.

Change chart design

Chart styles are predefined combinations of formatting options that allow you to quickly format a chart using different colors, line styles, and artistic effects.

  1. Select chart background to select the entire chart.

  2. Select Design .

  3. Select Style 3 in the Chart Styles group.

  4. After you make changes, short white horizontal lines run through the bars in the diagram. The legend also moves to the top of the chart below the title.

Change column colors

To use different column colors for your chart, change the colors.

  1. Select chart background to select the entire chart if necessary.

  2. Select Design .

  3. Select Change colors to open a list of color options.

  4. Hover over each row of colors to see the option’s name. You will also see a color preselection on the map.

  5. Select colorful palette 3. This one third option in the “Colorful” section of the list.

  6. After you make a selection, the colors of the columns for each series change to orange, yellow, and green. The white lines are still present in each column.

Change chart background color

Change the background color to make your chart stand out on the page.

  1. Select chart background to select the entire chart and display the chart tool tabs.

  2. Select Format .

  3. Select fill form to display a list of color options.

  4. Select Light gray, background 2 in the Theme Colors section of the panel to change the chart background color to light gray.

Change chart text color

Now that the background is gray, the default black text is not clearly visible. Change the color of the text in the chart to improve the contrast between the two.

  1. Select chart background to select the entire chart.

  2. Select Format .

  3. Select Text fill arrow to open a list of text colors.

  4. Select Green, Accent 6, 50% darker in the Theme Colors section of the list.

  5. This will make the text in the title, axes, and legend turn green.

Change font, size and accent

Changing the text and font size can make the legend, axis titles, and values ​​in the chart easier to read. You can also add bold formatting to text to make it stand out from the background.

Font size is measured in points and is often abbreviated to pt . 72 pt text size equals one inch to one inch.

Change the appearance of title text in a chart

You may want to use a different font or font size for the chart title.

  1. Select chart title .

  2. Select House .

  3. In the “Font” section, select Font Down Arrow to open a list of available fonts.

  4. Scroll to search and select Arial black to change the title font.

  5. In the Font Size . field set title font size 16 points .

  6. Select Bold font to add text formatting to the title.

Change legend and axis text

Other chart text areas can be formatted to suit your style. Change the labels and legends by changing the font style and size.

  1. Select x-axis label (horizontal) on the schedule. The box surrounds the label with oatmeal, lemon and chocolate.

  2. Use the steps above to change the title text. Set the axis label to 10 points , Arial , and bold .

  3. Select Y-axis label (vertical) on the chart to select the amounts on the left side of the chart.

  4. Use the steps above to change the title text. Set the axis label to 10 points , Arial , and bold .

  5. Select chart legend .

  6. Use the steps above to change the title text. Set the legend text to 10 points , Arial and bold .

Add gridlines to your column chart

In the absence of data labels , which show the actual value of each column, the gridlines make it easier to read the column values ​​from those marked on the y-axis (vertical). To make your chart easier to read, add gridlines to chart area diagrams.

  1. Select chart .

  2. Select Design .

  3. Select Add chart element to open the drop-down menu.

  4. Select grid lines > Major Horizontal Major to add faint, thin grid lines to the plot area.

Change the color of the gridlines

You can change the color of the gridlines to make the lines more visible against the gray background of the graph area.

  1. Select on the map gridline . All gridlines are highlighted and show blue and white dots at the end of each gridline.

  2. Select Format .

  3. Select Format selection to open the Format task pane. Main line layout displayed at the top of the panel.

  4. Select solid line .

  5. Select Colour and change the color to Orange, Accent 2 .

Format X-axislijn

There is a line on the x-axis above the labels on the x-axis, but like the gridlines, this line is difficult to see because of the gray background of the graph. Change the axis color and line width to match the colors of the formatted gridlines.

  1. Select x-axis label to highlight the line of the x-axis. The format axis appears at the top of the Format task pane.

  2. Set line type solid line .

  3. Set the color of the axis line to Orange, Accent 2 .

  4. Set the axis width to 2 points .

  5. Close the Formatting toolbar when you are done.

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 Design .

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

  4. Select new leaf and enter a descriptive title for the new sheet.

  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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