How to Make a Chart or Graph in Excel - Bollyinside .

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Microsoft Excel is a spreadsheet developed by Microsoft for Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. It has calculation or computation capabilities, graphing tools, pivot tables, and a macro programming language called Visual Basic for Applications (VBA). Excel is part of the Microsoft Office software suite.

How to make a chart or graph in Excel

Enter your data into Excel.

First, you need to enter your data into Excel. You may have exported the data from somewhere else, like a piece of marketing software or a survey tool. Or maybe you are entering it manually. In the example below, in Column A, I have a list of answers to the question “Did inbound marketing demonstrate ROI?”, and in Columns B, C, and D, I have the answers to the question “Did your company Do you have a formal sales and marketing agreement?For example, Column C, Row 2 illustrates that 49% of people who have an SLA (service level agreement) also say that inbound marketing demonstrated ROI.

Choose from chart and table options.

In Excel, your options for charts and graphs include column (or bar) charts, line charts, pie charts, scatter plots, and more. See how Excel identifies each one in the top navigation bar, as shown below. To find chart and graph options, select Insert. (For help determining which chart/graph type is best for visualizing your data, check out our free eBook, How to Use Data Visualization to Win Your Audience.)

Highlight your data and insert the desired chart into the spreadsheet.

In this example, I’ll use a bar chart to visually present the data. To make a bar chart, highlight the data and include the X and Y axis titles. Then go to the Insert tab and in the chart section, click the column icon. Choose the chart you want from the dropdown window that appears. In this example, I chose the first two-dimensional column option simply because I prefer the flat bar chart to the three-dimensional look. See the resulting bar chart below.

Change the data on each axis, if necessary.

If you want to change what appears on the X and Y axes, right-click the bar chart, click Select Data, and click Change Row/Column. This will rearrange which axes carry which data in the list below. When you’re done, click OK at the bottom. The resulting graph would look like this.

Adjust the layout and colors of your data.

To change the layout of the labeling and legend, click the bar chart, and then click the Chart Layout tab. Here you can choose which layout you prefer for the chart title, axis titles, and legend. In my example below, I clicked the option that showed softer bar colors and legends below the chart.

To further format the legend, click it to reveal the Format Legend Entry sidebar, as shown below. Here you can change the fill color of the legend, which in turn will change the color of the columns. To format other parts of your chart, click on them individually to reveal a corresponding Format window.

Change the size of your chart legend and axis labels.

When you first create a chart in Excel, the size of the legends and axis labels can be a bit small, depending on the type of chart or chart you choose (bar, pie, line, etc.). Once you’ve created your chart, you’ll want to reinforce those labels so they’re readable. To increase the size of your chart labels, click on them individually, and instead of displaying a new Format window, click the Home tab again in Excel’s top navigation bar. Then use the font type and size dropdown fields to expand or shrink your chart legend and axis labels to your liking.

Change the Y-axis measurement options, if desired.

To change the type of measure displayed on the Y-axis, click the Y-axis percentages on your chart to display the Format Axis window. Here, you can decide whether you want to display the units located on the Axis Options tab, or whether you want to change whether the Y-axis displays percentages with 2 decimal places or with 0 decimal places.

Since my chart automatically sets the maximum Y-axis percentage to 60%, I may want to manually change it to 100% to represent my data at a more universal scale. To do so, I can select the Maximum Two Fields option under Limits in the Format Axis window and change the value from 0.6 to 1. The resulting graph would be changed to look like the following (I increased the font size of the Y-axis through from the Home tab, so you can see the difference):

Reorder your data, if you wish.

To sort your data so that respondent responses appear in reverse order, right-click your chart and click Select Data to display the same options window you opened in step 3 above. This time, click the up and down arrows, as shown below, to reverse the order of your data on the chart.

If you have more than two lines of data to fit, you can also rearrange them in ascending or descending order. To do this, highlight all of your data in the cells above your chart, click Data, and select Sort, as shown below. You can choose to sort from smallest to largest or largest to smallest, depending on your preferences. The resulting graph would look like this:

Title of your graph.

Now comes the fun and easy part: naming your chart. By now, you may have already figured out how to do this. Here is a simple clarifier. Immediately after you create your chart, the title that appears will likely be “Chart Title” or something similar, depending on the version of Excel you’re using.

To change this label, click “Chart Title” to reveal a typing cursor. You can then freely customize the title of your chart. When you have a title you like, click Home in the top navigation bar and use the font formatting options to give your title the emphasis it deserves. See these options and my final graph below:

Export your graph or chart.

Once your table or graph is exactly how you want it, you can save it as an image without taking a screenshot in the spreadsheet. This method will give you a clean image of your chart that can be inserted into a PowerPoint presentation, Canva document, or any other visual template. To save your Excel chart as a photo, right-click on the chart and select Save As Picture.

In the dialog box, give your chart photo a name, choose where to save it on your computer, and choose the type of file you want to save it as. In this example, I’m saving it as a JPEG to my desktop folder. Finally, click Save. You’ll have a clear photo of your graph or chart that you can add to any visual design.

Final words: How to Make a Chart or Graph in Excel

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