Learning how to draw a bar graph in Excel is quick and easy. Here's how you do it.
- Calculate the average and standard error for each bar you want to draw in your bar graph. If a certain label is required under each bar, type the label into an empty column or row in the spreadsheet. Make sure the same spacing exists in the row or column of averages.
- Use the cursor to highlight each average that needs to be graphed. To actually draw a bar graph in Microsoft Excel, click on the graph icon on the toolbar or go to ‘Insert’ and select ‘Chart’ from the drop-down menus to launch the create a chart wizard. The first step of the Chart Wizard will appear and select the type of graph closest to the one you would like to create. Most bar graphs in Excel are generated from the Clustered Column Chart the first option. Select the Clustered Column Chart.
- The second step of the Chart Wizard contains two tabs, ‘Data Range’ and ‘Series’ tabs. The ‘Data Range’ tab will not be required since the data range is already selected. Click the ‘Series’ tab and if desired, the name, or title of the graph, may be entered for the series legend. In the space labeled ‘Category (x) axis labels’ highlight the data range that includes the words or numbers to appear under each bar and click next.
- Go through the tabs in step three of the Chart Wizard and select options to draw the bar graph you are creating to appear as desired. The title tab allows you to choose a Chart Title, X axis label in the Category X axis section and Y axis label in the Value Y axis section. Other tabs include the axes tab to alter the scaling and appearance of the X and Y axis’s, the Gridlines tab to make gridlines appear or disappear on the graph, the Legend tab, Data labels tab and Data table tab. Select next when done making your choices.
- The final step of drawing a bar graph in Excel, step four in the Chart Wizard ,asks where the graph should appear. The graph may appear on a separate worksheet by itself or as an embedded object in the active sheet, under the data used to make the graph. After the graph is finished, changes may be made by placing the cursor on the item that needs to be changed, or right-clicking the mouse for a set of menu options to choose from.