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Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How To Make a Graph in MS Excel

Excel is a great productivity program and it is being used by millions of people and businesses alike. Data entry is one of the basic functions of all businesses and Microsoft Excel handles it perfectly. You keep track of all the data and also visually make it easy to understand.
When it comes to making the data easy to understand, Excel’s built-in Charts/Graphs make it a zippy. They don’t just present the information in a easy to digest manner, but they are actually quite easy to make as well.
All you need to do is arrange the data on which you would like to create the Graph and the rest is handled by the Excel. In this tutorial, we are going to show you how you create a Chart/Graph in Microsoft Excel and then edit it.
Note: This tutorial is written using Microsoft Excel 2007, however, the instructions for other versions of Microsoft Excel is same as well. There might be some visual changes, but overall, same instructions will apply.

Create a Microsoft Excel Chart

Before starting, you need to enter the data on which you would like to create a chart. If you have the data online, then just Copy/paste it in the Excel, otherwise, manually enter the data. In our example, we have Test scores of five students and we will present this information on a chart.
make_a_graph_in_excel (1)
First, you need to highlight all the information which you would like to present on the chart. Click and hold at the First row and column of the data and drag your cursor to the last column and row of the data. Once all data is highlighted, leave the click.
make_a_graph_in_excel (2)
Now, click on the “Insert” tab above and you will see different types of charts in the “Charts” panel.
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You can click on any chart and below you will see all the charts types available. If you want to see more charts, then click on “Other Charts” and below you will see more charts along with what sub-types they offer.
make_a_graph_in_excel (4)
make_a_graph_in_excel (5)
You can select any chart you like (depending on your data, of course) and it will be immediately created according to the data provided. In our case, a simple Clustered Column chart will do wonders, so we will select it.
make_a_graph_in_excel (6)
make_a_graph_in_excel (7)
All charts might be able to present your information, but still you will have to find the right chart that fits your data perfectly (if you don’t know which chart applies to your data). If you think the current applied chart is not presenting the information properly, just click on “Change Chart Type” button located at the top left corner of the window. All charts will be displayed in a separate window and you can select another one from there.
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make_a_graph_in_excel (9)
Your chart will be created and it will be in its final form, there are no “compulsory” tweaks required. However, there are still many things you can edit to make your chart look better and present information even more clearly. Keep on reading to learn how to edit your newly created chart and get the out of it.

Customize the Chart

Once the chart is created, you will see all information in X axis and Y axis. If you don’t like to way the information is presented you also have the option to switch information on X axis and Y axis. Click on “Switch Row/Column” button located at the top (these are all new options, displayed when you created the chart) and you will see that the information is switched.
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make_a_graph_in_excel (11)
To make the chart more informative, you can change its layout using the “Chart Layouts” panel above. Click on the tiny upside down button on the right of the Chart layouts panel and you will see all the available layouts for your selected chart. Select the one that fits your needs, most probably, it will offer you to add a title and information on both axis.
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You can double click on “Chart title” and “Axis Title” to edit them. Just remove the current dummy text and replace it with what you want to define in the specific title.
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You can also change the chart style and color from the “Chart Styles” panel above. Click on the tiny downwards arrow on the right of the “Chart Styles” panel and you will see all the available styles. Just select the style that works best for you.
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make_a_graph_in_excel (17)
Most of the Charts also come with their 3D counterparts. Just go to “Insert” tab again and click on the chart which you are using. There you will see the 3D counterpart under the heading 3-D column. Just select it and it will be applied with all the previous edits you made.
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make_a_graph_in_excel (20)
Now, click on “Layouts” tab and you will see all the options related to the layout of the chart. These options will give you even more control than the customized layouts. Here you can add shapes, change the location of the legends or even add a picture from your hard drive.
make_a_graph_in_excel (21)
With all these Additional changes, you also have full control over the information presented in the graph. You can easily increase or decrease the size of everything inside it and relocate them. All you need to do is click and hold on the sides of the information and drag to increase or decrease the size.
make_a_graph_in_excel (22)
Above Chart might be a bit complex in your scenario, so here is an example of a simple chart as well:
Create-a-Graph-in-Excel
With the above instructions, you should be able to create an amazing graph.

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