How to Make Chart on Excel – A Step-by-Step Guide

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As we know a picture is worth of thousand words, similarly when putting data into charts and graphs your one chart is worth of thousand cells of data. Today, you will get to know how to make chart in Excel along with its explanation.

What is a Chart?

A chart is basically the conversion of data in rows and columns into visual representations. Mainly charts are required when you need to analyze trends and patterns in data sets.

Suppose, for the last three years you are working in Excel to find the sales values. With the help of charts, you can easily identify the sales for each year. Not only this, but you can even show a comparison of datasets by using charts.

Users having earlier versions of Excel than 2013 could miss some important features that’s why you must update the Excel version.

How to Make Chart in Excel

Let’s understand a step-by-step procedure for making charts in Excel. In this example, we will use a dataset of sold quantities against the sales year.

  • Open Excel and put data from the sample data table.

The workbook will appear like this:

how to make charts

To present this data in the relevant chart, let’s follow a few more steps:

how to make charts2

  • Choose the data you need to display in the graph.
  • Click on the INSERT tab given in the ribbon.
  • Click on the Column chart drop-down menu.
  • Choose the chart type you need.

All done!

This is how to make chart in Excel, as already said it is not a tricky thing at all. You can easily manage to learn this simple procedure.

Types of Charts in Excel

Excel provides an option to make charts quickly to present your data in visual form. For anyone, it is necessary to understand the purpose of each chart type so that making a chart does not create a mess. Below you will find some of the widely used types of charts. Let’s dive in to see how many chart types we have:

Column Chart

When you need to show the categories along with the horizontal axis as well as values with the vertical axis, you may use a column chart to present your data. To use this chart type, you have to arrange data in columns or rows given in the sheet.

Line Chart

Using line charts, you can display continuous data as time passes. Your data displays on an evenly scaled axis that’s why it is the best option to opt for when you have to present trends in data at equal intervals including months, quarters, or years. A line chart spreads category data evenly with the horizontal axis whereas value data is spread evenly with the vertical axis.

Pie Chart

A pie chart uses data points in terms of the percentage of the entire pie. With a pie chart, you can simply display the size of items in a single series, proportional to the sum of the values. You have to arrange data in columns and rows so that you can make a pie chart.

Doughnut Chart

You may find it similar to the Pie chart because of its structure. However, the pie chart uses one series of relationships whereas the doughnut chart can handle more than one series of relationships. Mainly it is used to display the relationship between parts to a whole.

In a Doughnut chart, you will see rings and each ring shows one data series. For this, you need to arrange the rows and columns on a sheet.

Bar Chart

With the help of Bar charts, you can display comparisons among individual values. A Bar chart lets you organize categories with the vertical axis whereas the values are organized with the horizontal axis. For this, you have to arrange data in columns and rows on the sheet.

Area Chart

Plotting the change as time passes could be easier with Area Charts. You can use area charts to show the total value across a trend. When you intend to display the sum of the plotted values, you can use an area chart to present the relationship of parts to a whole. For this, you need to arrange data in columns and rows on the sheet.

XY Chart

Scatter Chart or XY chart helps you in representing and comparing generic values including statistical, scientific, and engineering data. Usually, it has two main Value Axes – Horizontal Value Axis and Vertical Value Axis. Both X and Y points met at one point and you can show them in irregular intervals. For this, you need to arrange data in rows and columns on the sheet.

Bubble Chart

Similar to a Scatter chart, this type of chart uses an extra third column that helps identify the size of the bubbles to display data points in data series.


With charts, you can smoothly plot data into graphical visualization. It is a powerful source of presenting values in visual form. You can use any type of chart according to the dataset and your needs.

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