Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Creating a Chart.

Creating a Chart

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 10, 2018)

1

When you create a chart using Excel, the value within each cell that is being charted is converted to a datapoint, which is at the intersection of the X and Y axes for two-dimensional charts or the X, Y, and Z axes for three-dimensional charts. This datapoint can be expressed in any number of chart styles, including bars, columns, lines, and pie wedges.

Perhaps the most common method of creating a chart is to use the tools on the Insert tab of the ribbon, in this manner:

  1. Select the data range to be charted, or select a single cell within the table you wish to chart. Don't include any summary or total information in the range. You will create the best charts when you work with raw data. You can select any headings, however.
  2. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  3. In the Charts group, click the tool that represents the type of chart you want to create. Excel displays a number of variations of the chart you selected.
  4. Click on a chart variation.

That's it; your chart is inserted in your worksheet and Excel adds some additional tabs to the ribbon. If you are using Excel 2007 or Excel 2010, it adds three tabs: Design, Layout, and Format. If you are using Excel 2013 or a later version, it adds only two new tabs: Design and Format. The additional tabs are available whenever you select the chart you just created. You can use the tools on the tabs to change the way your chart looks.

If you want to make a chart even quicker and you want to leave the details to Excel, all you need to do is perform step 1 and then press F11. Your chart will be displayed on a new worksheet. If you want to create a chart in the existing worksheet, press Alt+F1 After that, you can modify any specifics of the chart that you desire.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7928) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Creating a Chart.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Using RD Fields with Chapter Headings

The RD field can be handy for pulling together a bunch of documents into a single file. However, using the field can play ...

Discover More

Creating Custom Document Properties

Word allows you to keep track of any number of custom properties about a document. Here's how to create those properties ...

Discover More

Gradient Prints as Stripes

When you print a graphic that includes a gradient, you may not get exactly the output you expect. This tip examines two ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Locking Callouts to a Graph Location

If you add callouts using the drawing tools in Excel, you may have noticed that they don't always stay where you expect ...

Discover More

Specifying Chart Sizes

If you need a number of charts in your workbook to all be the same size, it can be a bother to manually change each of ...

Discover More

Plotting Times of Day

Got a chart created from your worksheet? You can plot times of day in the chart if you apply the simple techniques in ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three less than 5?

2018-03-03 13:28:36

Penny Edwards

Using the F11 key is a great way to get your chart quickly onto a new worksheet in the workbook. If you want to create the chart in the existing worksheet press Alt F1.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.