How to Put Error Bars in Excel – Adding Error Bars

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When you are working with numbers, Excel does not support uncertainty because it directly affects the results. It clearly shows the lack of data, incomplete research approach, and useless methods. Though businessman never trusts things that put them in uncertain conditions that’s why they always seek perfection. However, by any means, you may have to face uncertain conditions because it also gives you experience and increases your learning capacity.

Errors occur in every field of life, when an analyst displays these errors in bars for comparison, it is called error bars in Excel.

How to Put Error Bars in Excel?

You can add error bars in Excel 2013 and later versions easily by following the below-given steps:

  • Click anywhere in the graph and choose the Chart Elements option given on the right side of the chart.
  • Click the arrow button placed next to Error Bars and choose the option you need.

These options include:

Standard Error: It simply shows the standard error of the mean used for all values. It also shows how far the sample mean needed to be from the population mean.

Percentage: It puts error bars with the 5% value automatically; however, you are free to set the percentage value from the More Options menu.

Standard Deviation: It shows how much your dataset variability occurs, such as how much gap is there in the average and standard deviation.

More Options: It lets you identify error bar quantity and makes custom error bars.

add error bars

When you click on More Options, you will see the Format Error Bars menu from which you can:

  • Choose the direction and end style
  • Set the amount of fixed value, percentage, and standard deviation error bars.
  • Modify the appearance of error bars.
  • Create custom error bars on the bases of your data.

Suppose, you need to put 10% error bars in a chart. For this, you need to choose Percentage and enter 10 in the entry box.

add error bars2

Bonus Tips:

Whenever you need to put standard error bars in Excel, simply choose the Error Bars box and nothing else. By default, you will see the standard error bars are added.

In case, when you already have error bars and need to modify them, double-click on these bars and it will open the Format Error Bars menu. From this menu, you can easily pick up options you need to apply.

How to Put Error Bars in Excel (Custom Value Error Bars) 

Do you know, if you can add custom value error bars as well?

By following the simple steps given below, you can put custom value error bars in the chart:

  • Open the Chart Elements option given in the Error Bars menu and then choose More Options. It will open up the Format Error Bars menu.

custom error bars

  • Now, open the Error Bars options tab.
  • You will find the Error Amount option from this click on the Custom option.
  • Choose Specify Value option.
  • Now, add the Positive Error Value and Negative Error Value in the Custom Error Bars dialog box.
  • In case you don’t need to add positive or negative values, just enter zero.

custom error bars2

That’s how you can add custom value error bars to the graph.

Final Thoughts:

So, today we have briefly discussed how to put error bars in Excel. You can practice the methods given above to increase your Excel skills.

That’s it – Now what?

Well done!

Now you know how to add, modify, and delete error bars in charts.

But charts (and especially error bars) are only a small part of Microsoft Excel

To make the most out of Excel, mastering functions like VLOOKUP, SUMIF, and IF is essential.

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