It’s often useful to visualize data with a simple graph. Fortunately, these are easy to draw inside spreadsheets. Let’s learn how to make a graph in Microsoft Excel.
How to Make a Graph in Excel
Imagine a table showing a list of years, and annual revenues for those years. While you could simply show the data in the table, it might be easier to illustrate it with a graph. This helps viewers easily see year-over-year changes and growth.
To get started, click and drag to select the data inside the two columns. In this case, this is the range A1:B5. Then, with the data selected, go to the Insert tab on Excel’s ribbon. Near the middle, you’ll see a dropdown menu called Recommended Charts.
Go ahead and click here. This is the easiest way to insert a graph in Excel. It automatically analyzes your dataset, and sorts it into logical rows and columns that present well in a graph format.
Scroll through the available options. Excel will present several styles that best portray the data. At the top, you’ll see the classic line graph. Below are other options, such as bar graphs and scatter graphs, along with other layouts like pie charts.
When you see the graph layout that you like best, click on the thumbnail in the drop-down menu. Excel will automatically insert the graph onto your spreadsheet.
You’ll see that the years are on the horizontal axis, and revenue figures are on the vertical axis. Working in the Chart Design and Format tabs, you can easily make changes to the look and feel of your graph. For example, you can add a graph title, axis labels, change the color of the line, and more.
As you can see, it’s easy to insert simple graphs in Excel to illustrate your data in style.