How To Create a Bar Graph from an Excel Spreadsheet

Need to create your own bar graph for a presentation? You can make your own bar graph and much more in Microsoft Office Excel. The basics are really easy to pick-up on and eventually, you should get the hang of everything the program offers. Here is how to create a bar graph from an Excel spreadsheet:

  • Acquire the hardware and software. Before you begin, naturally, you must have access to a computer and Microsoft Office Excel. You need a computer that can run Microsoft Windows or any other operating system that can run Microsoft Office Excel. Acquire a licensed copy of the program and install it into your computer. Once you have finished installation, you can get started. Run the program and wait for it to open.
  • Input data. It is very important that you input your data first before creating a bar graph. If you are able to arrange and organize your data correctly and clearly you will have a much easier time creating your bar graph (or any other type of graph for that matter). Carefully input your data into the cells of your worksheet, preferably in matrix form, so that the program can easily transform the data into an informative graph.
  • Creating the bar graph. The how-to of making a bar graph is very easy. Microsoft Office Excel allows you to create graphs by simply selecting a group of cells and clicking the bar graph icon to transform your selection into a graph. The key to the charts and graphs in Microsoft Office Excel is that they reference data on the spreadsheet so you really need to enter your facts and figures into the cells before you can begin.
  • Customization. There are a great many ways you can customize your bar graph on Microsoft Office Excel. From changing the orientation of the axis, the color of the graphs and even the graph itself, there are a hundred different ways you can make your graph your own. You should play around with all the different tools and functions. Do not be afraid to make mistakes because you can easily undo them. You can certainly learn a lot of new tricks from trying out new things instead of sticking to tried and tested methods or taking someone else’s word for it.
  • Tutorials. You will have different icons, menus and layouts depending on what version of Microsoft Excel you are using. The program itself is easy enough to use once you get the hang of it and the best way to get the hang of it is to use it repeatedly and learn from others who have already mastered the program. There a lot of handy tutorials online covering the many versions of the program. Here are a few: has tutorials for numerous versions including Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2003 while Excel-2010 is dedicated to the latest version, 2010. The site AddictiveTips has their own useful tutorial complete with pictures. Trainee Trader also has its own thorough bar graph tutorial. Of course, Microsoft Office has its own online tutorial.

Creating a bar graph in an Excel spreadsheet is not rocket science, but if you spend enough time learning the ropes, you can create the most detailed and organized charts. Take some time from your busy schedule to update your Excel and graph-making skills and others will be asking you for help.


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