Using charts and graphs in Excel

  1. Experiment with Excel charts and graphs to display your data
  2. Compare values ​​with pie charts
  3. Show equations with column charts
  4. Compare data with histograms
  5. Track changes over time with line charts
  6. Show trends with scatter charts
  7. Display two charts in one with combined charts
  8. Display data with icons
  9. View financial data in stock charts
  10. Add chart to Excel

Experiment with Excel charts and graphs to display your data

Charts and graphs are a visual representation of sheet data. These images help you understand the data on the sheet by showing patterns and trends that are difficult to see in the data. Graphs are used to illustrate trends over time while graphs illustrate patterns or contain frequency information. Choose the Excel chart or graph format that works best for you.

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

Compare values ​​with pie charts

Pie charts (or pie charts) compare values ​​and display the results as a percentage. The whole circle of a pie chart represents 100 percent. The circle is divided into segments that represent data values. The size of each segment is a fraction of the 100 percent it represents.

Here are some examples:

  • A company’s profit for each month can be represented in a pie chart where each piece of the pie represents a month as a percentage of the total profit for the year.

  • A baseball player’s batting average can be represented using a pie chart, as it represents the percentage of hits compared to the total number of bats for the season.

  • The percentage of your total daily calories that is one cheese and one bacon burger.

Show equations with column charts

Bar charts, also known as bar charts, show comparisons between data. These graphs show the differences between groups of data.

Values ​​are represented using a vertical bar or rectangle, and each bar in the chart represents a different group of data. For instance:

  • In a school class, a bar chart shows and compares the number of students with different numbers. The more students have a particular grade, the higher the bar for that grade in the graph.

  • Use the colored bars to illustrate the calories in the bacon and cheese burger versus the calories in the beet bowl and the calories in the mac and cheese bowl.

Compare data with histograms

Bar charts are bar charts that have fallen to one side. Columns or columns are formatted horizontally along the page instead of vertically.

Axes also change. The Y-axis is the horizontal axis along the bottom of the graph, while the X-axis is vertical along the left side.

Track changes over time with line charts

Line charts or line charts show trends over time. Each line in the graph shows the change in the value of one data item.

Like most other charts, line charts have a vertical axis and a horizontal axis. When data is plotted over time, time is displayed on the horizontal or x-axis and other data is displayed as separate points on the vertical or y-axis. When individual data points are connected by lines, they show the change in the data.

For example, use a line chart to show the change in your weight over a period of months as a result of eating only vegetables for lunch every day. Or use a line chart to chart the daily changes in specific stock prices.

Line charts are also used to chart data from scientific experiments, such as a chemical’s response to a change in temperature or atmospheric pressure.

Show trends with scatter charts

Scatter plots show trends in data. These plots are useful when there are a large number of data points. Like line graphs, scatter plots can be used to plot data from scientific experiments, such as a chemical’s response to changes in temperature or atmospheric pressure.

Line plots connect points or data points to show how data changes over time, while a scatter plot is a “best fit” line. The data points are spread across the line. The closer the data points are to the line, the stronger the correlation or influence of one variable on another.

If the data points are closer to the line of best fit, the scatter plot shows a positive correlation in the data. If the data points are further from the line, there is a negative correlation in the data.

Display two charts in one with combined charts

Combination Cards combine two different chart types on the same screen. Usually the two charts are a line chart and a bar chart. To do this, Excel uses a third axis, the secondary y-axis, which runs along the right side of the chart.

Comb charts show monthly average temperature and precipitation data, production data such as units produced and costs, or monthly sales volume and average monthly sales price.

Display data with icons

icons or icons are bar charts that use images instead of columns to display data. For example, an icon with hundreds of images of burgers stacked on top of each other shows how many calories are in a burger with cheese and bacon compared to a small stack of images for beet greens.

View financial data in stock charts

Stock market charts show information about a stock or shares, such as their opening and closing prices and the volume of shares traded over a period of time. There are several types of stock charts available in Excel. Each shows different information.

Newer versions of Excel also include Area charts, XY Bubble (or Scatter) charts, and Radar charts.

Add chart to Excel

The best way to learn about different charts in Excel is to try them out.

  1. Open the Excel file that contains the data.

  2. Select the range you want to plot. To select a range, drag the cursor from the first cell to the last.

  3. Go on the ribbon to Insert and select the one you want Chart type to see a menu of available card sizes for that card type.

    If you’re not sure which chart type works best with your data, choose Recommended charts so that your data is formatted in various charts and graphs.

  4. Hover over a chart in the list to preview the chart on the worksheet.

  5. Select the chart format you want to use. The chart has been added to the sheet.

  6. Use to make changes to the chart Chart Tools (located to the right of the selected chart) or right-click the chart to select data, choose a different chart format, or format the gridlines and axis.

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