Microsoft Excel is a software that deals with displaying not only numerical data, but also with pictorial representation of data through cliparts and bar graphs. If a person looks at a data filled with numbers, he can get confused. However, a bar graph or chart makes things much easier and it is more convenient to compare different data. It is widely used for making presentations all over the world and learning about its application is fairly simple.

Instructions to create a Bar Graph from an Excel Spreadsheet

It is often preferable to convert numerical data in a spreadsheet to a line graph or a bar chart, and the steps to be followed in this matter are discussed below.

Steps for creating a chart

Step 1: Open the MS Excel application and then open the file which you want to use for making a chart.

Step 2: The cursor needs to be dragged over those columns that you want to show in your chart.

Step 3: Click on the Insert menu at the top of the screen, and select the option ‘Chart’. Alternatively, you can select the chart icon that can be found on the toolbar.

Step 4: From the list on the left side, select the type of chart you would want to use, like a pie chart or a line chart.

Step 5: If you do not want to label or format your chart, click on ‘Finish’ or press ‘Next’ to format or label your chart.

Steps for formatting your graph

Step 1: Once you select ‘Next’ as in the previous step, a box will appear where you have to click on the ‘Series’ tab.

Step 2: Then click on Series 1 to enter a label for your data; for example, ‘Number of Units per month’ in the ‘Name’ field.

Step 3: Then any additional series can be clicked on, and they can be named as well. Once it is done, click on ‘Next’

Step 4: For labeling your chart and both the x-axis and y-axis, select the tab ‘Titles’.

Step 5: For formatting the look of the chart, select the ‘Gridlines’, ‘Axes’ and ‘Legend’ tabs.

Step 6: For labeling the specific points on the chart, you can select the ‘Data Label’ tab after that.

Step 7: To add a table containing chart data under the chart, you can select the tab titled ‘Data Table’ and then click on ‘Next’.

Step 8: You can then decide if you want the chart to be on the same worksheet with your current Excel entries, or on a completely new worksheet, and then click on ‘Finish’.

Once the chart is done and inserted, you can anytime change the format of the chart by using the Chart menu.

A bar graph is not only great for summarizing your data but a simple look at it can allow you to focus on patterns and trends which can otherwise not be seen even with sufficient efforts, if presented in a numerical spreadsheet format.