A histogram helps you visually see how data is distributed within a range. They group data into fields called bins for easy reading. Let’s learn how to create a histogram in Microsoft Excel.
How to Create a Histogram in Excel
Imagine that you have a list of products and prices. You want to quickly show how they’re distributed. This is where it’s useful to add a histogram in Excel.
To get started, click and drag your cursor to select the range of cells containing data that you want in your histogram. Here, the range is A1:B8.
Then, go to the Insert tab on Excel’s ribbon. In the Charts section, click on the Histogram dropdown arrow.
The option in the top left is a standard histogram. To insert it, go ahead and click on the thumbnail. Your histogram will appear in your spreadsheet.
Each of the blue columns represents a bin. Notice that Excel defaulted to only two of these. But for better comparisons and analysis, you can customize the bins to fit your specifications.
Click on the Format tab on Excel’s ribbon, and ensure the style dropdown on the left side is set to Series 1. Then, click Format Pane on the right side. This opens up a sidebar with customization options inside. Click on the chart icon, and you’re ready to customize the bins.
Click first on the dropdown, changing Auto to Bin Width. You can set the bins to any width that you want. Here, 10,000 is a good even number to use. Type 10,000 in the box. Check the Overflowbin and Underflowbin boxes. These are the limits of your range.
In Overflow, type 115,000; in Underflow; type 70,000. You can use any values that you want, but these capture your full data range without excess or overflow that wastes space.
Watch as your chart realigns, with $10,000 increments listed at the bottom.
As you can see, histograms let you quickly illustrate data to help grasp how it’s distributed within a given range. They’re easy to build in Excel.