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Making a graph in a Excel spreadsheet is fairly simple and can be used to show data in a more visual format. There are different types of graphs available including, column, bar, line and pie charts. The type of graph that you use in a spreadsheet depends on the type of data results you need to show, as some graphs represent different results better than others.
Whatever style of graph you use, setting them up is all the same, in fact you can change you can switch between one style of chart to another and then just alter the layout of the graph to make it easier to read.
To start to create graph in Excel you need to enter the required data into a spreadsheet. You must remember to give your data in the spreadsheet labels.
Now click on the Insert tab on the Excel ribbon and then on have the charts panel that will present you with a selection of different graph types. (fig 1)
Once you have selected a type of graph, click on the select data tab. When the dialogue box opens you can either enter the cell range in the area, or click and drag the required cell area on the spreadsheet.
After you have created a basic graph, you can start to alter the design and look of it to what you require. Once a graph is created, it is easy to change from one style of graph to another.
If you click on the graph the chart tools group appears on the ribbon. On the design tab you can choose the layout for the chart. You can choose if you want your graph to have a title, the positioning of the axis titles and whether you want to show the graph legend. The design button will also allow you to switch the axis around. (fig 2)
The layout tab lets you edit the labels on your graph, including title and axis titles. It will also allow you to display the data labels on the graph, it will give you options to display the data as a percentage if you want.
By using the format tab, or right-clicking on the graph you can change the look of the chart, changing the colours of the data area, the plot and background areas and also the colour and size of the font used.
Creating eye-catching, informative visual representations of data is very simple yet so many excel users do not know how to create such graphs and charts. This article will go through step by step on how to make a graph in excel and some simple formatting options.
The first stage is to create your series of data. A very simple example of a data series can be seen below, where each person in question has an allocated score.
To create a basic chart, highlight the cells required and select the ‘Insert’ tab in the main toolbar. In this toolbar the option to select a chart type is available, as indicated below. Once the graph type has been selected Excel automatically processes the data into a visual representation.
Once you are able to make a graph in excel, the next stage is to format the graph to meet your specific requirements. To begin formatting the chart, click on the ‘Design’ tool option in the main menu and then select the ‘Add Chart Element’ option as shown below. Once this option is selected the range of modifications to the chart are numerous, including adding axis titles, error bars, legends etc.
The best graphs and charts give a clear indication of the data they represent but in a captivating, aesthetically pleasing manner.