Bar graphs represent charts which show rectangular bars the lengths of which are in direct proportions to the values they represent. They can be represented / plotted either vertically or horizontally. These bar graphs are used for the purpose of plotting discontinuous or discrete data having discrete values.

Instructions to make a Bar Graph using Microsoft Excel

The MS Excel application makes the bar graph insertion process very easy. All one needs to do is create a data, supply it to Excel and it creates the bar graph for you on its own. Follow the steps to create a bar graph using MS Excel 2003.

Step 1: The first step involves labeling the data which you want to graph in the Excel sheet. For each piece of data that you plan to graph, you need to type the labels. For instance, if you want a graphical representation of units produced in different months, you need to type ‘Month’ in cell A1 and ‘Units’ in cell B1.

Step 2: Proceed to enter the data information that you want to be included in the bar graph. According to the previous example, type the names of all the months in Column A (January, February March and so on) and type the number of units produced in Column B.

Step 3: Now the chart wizard window needs to be opened. Go to the menu bar and select Insert, followed by choosing ‘Chart’ from the list of options.

Step 4: The type of bar graph that you want to be inserted needs to be chosen. Select the ‘Bar’ option from under ‘Chart type’. It will then show you the different types of bar graphs under Chart sub-type from which you can choose the most suitable one. Click on ‘Next’ once you have chosen the bar graph.

Step 5: The range for the data to be included needs to be selected. The data is captured by default into the spreadsheet. If the data isn’t captured by default, then you can click and drag the mouse over the data to be included in the bar graph and click ‘Next’.

Step 6: The application provides several tabs to define bar graph options which will assist you to then define bar graph options. Examples of these options are what information should be tracked on which axis, where to put the legend etc. once the selections are made, click on ‘Next’.

Step 7: Now you need to define the location where you want to save the bar graph which by default is the current spreadsheet. You can click the radio button for your choice and then select ‘Finish’.

Step 8: If it is needed, change the text on the bar graph. If you want to change any text on the bar graph, you can click on the text and then type in your changes.

Along with following the instructions, do make sure that you provide enough data for the type of bar graph chosen as some of them require more than two columns of data.