If you have worked with Excel, you have certainly realized the use and importance of this software and you know that drawing diagrams in Excel is very important. In this article, we will teach you how to draw graphs in Excel to acquaint you with this very important feature of Excel. If you have not read our previous article on Excel Tutorial , you’re a good idea to take a quick look at this tutorial. Stay with us.
Learn more about Excel charts
Excel includes a huge collection of charts and tables to help make data presentation easier and more engaging. Although it can be practical to use several types of charts to represent a set of data, it is usually advisable to use one type of chart for this purpose. There are several main types of charts in Excel that we will mention later.
One of the most common diagrams used to create presentation files are column types that allow different values to be compared together. The shared data is grouped into categories, each of which will form a column. To use the said chart, all you have to do is select Insert, click on Insert, and then select the 2D or 3D bar chart.
Unfortunately, bar charts in Excel are created by default without any horizontal or vertical axis labels; As a result, the audience may not notice the type of data evaluated in the chart. To add such tags you have to click on the “+” icon in the upper right corner of the chart and then check the Axis Titles option.
As it turns out, bar charts can be a good option for displaying data. In many cases, however, the use of bar charts can be a better option for comparing data. To add it, proceed from the Insert section and click on the option next to the bar chart icon.
As the name implies, this diagram has a circular icon and is mostly used to represent the dominant data. It is usually best to use pie charts for a series of data that are classified into smaller sections; As a result, if you are dealing with multiple types of data, it is best to look for bar charts or bars.
You will need a new set of data to use line charts or similar types; Because such graphs are usually time dependent and are used to change a data type over a period of time. Each bar chart requires the values of X and Y on the two axes, often including time.
Area diagrams are very similar to linear types; But the area below the line is full. While line charts focus on changes in a data over time, area charts can magnify the extent of these changes. Stacked area diagram is another option available in Excel that allows you to display multiple types of data in two dimensions.
One of the most popular charts in the scientific community is the point type used to show the correlations and patterns between data. For example, the chart below shows the number of people hospitalized with asthma in Chicago from 2000 to 2011 by zip code. As shown in the diagram, the area with postcode 60628 has the highest number of hospitalized patients, and the area with 60655 with the lowest number of hospitalizations probably has the best quality of air for life.
Bubble graph is a good option for data with variable type. The first two variables can normally be used to define points X and Y, which will show a point on the graph that is used as the center of the bubble. The third variable is able to determine the size of the bubble and is a different and interesting way to draw data.
Surface diagrams are three-dimensional types that make it possible to consider several types of data in different dimensions. Using this chart can be a bit tricky; But the end result will be very visually appealing. Its three-dimensional type is very similar to topographic maps, and the height and distance of one point from other points can be obtained.
The donut chart looks like a more complex version of the pie chart, to which an additional set of data can be added in layers. For example, if we want to compare two different data sets based on another variable, we will be able to use a donut chart; Of course, it is better to compare the data from one category. For example, the number of men and women in the population by year below shows that each ring belongs to one gender.
Although the donut chart is one of the lesser known items in Excel, if used in the right place, it will be very valuable in displaying and comparing data in an attractive and effective way.
How to draw a line chart
Although the principles of drawing different graphs in Excel are the same, they may differ in some details. To begin with, we will look at how to draw a line chart; A graph that usually has many uses for displaying data over time. First you need to select the column containing your data and then select the line chart option from the Insert tab as shown below. In the two-dimensional line charts section, there are several options, the simplest of which we will use here.
After clicking on the said option, you will have a chart like the one below. As you can see, this chart is very simple and you can use Excel ready-made styles or add different elements manually to increase its attractiveness.
Use Excel styles
Chart Styles are available through the right part of each chart. As you can see in the image below, styles can add different effects and colors to the chart. Because the current chart contains only one category of data, adding a new color does not change it much; But by increasing the data, the use of colors can help the audience to separate them more easily.
Change the format of chart axes
If you look closely at the diagram at the top, you will notice that a large range of values on the X-axis do not contain data; As a result, most of the bottom of the chart remains blank. To reduce this space, you can click on the Vertical axis option to refer to the Format axis window. In this section, we change the value of the X axis from zero to 50,000 to 50,000 to 64,000. The amount of data change over the years will now be much more pronounced than before.
You can also assign a specific title to each axis. By clicking on the “+” icon in the upper right corner of the chart and selecting Axis Titles, we can enter the desired title.
Add a new axis to the chart
We may want to add new data to our table, but expanding the range of values in the chart alone is not enough to display them. To solve this problem, first right-click on the desired chart and then select the Change chart type option. Then select the Combo option from the left panel. Now we can define the chart type and its axis for each data type independently, like the image below.
Two series of data have been added to the graph as additional axes, both of which use a line graph, and the result will be like the image below.
Now due to the use of several types of data in the chart, we must use the chart description feature. Chart descriptions, however, will not be necessary in cases involving only one set of data; But in this example, it helps the audience to have a better view of the types of data in the chart. To activate it, first click on the “+” icon in the right corner of the chart and then check the Legend option. Using the small arrow cursor you will be able to specify the location of the chart description, which in this example is located below the chart.
To change the titles in the chart description, right-click on the chart itself and then select Select Data. In the left panel, you can see untitled categories, and after selecting each one, you can edit their titles by clicking Edit.
After editing, click the OK button to apply the intended changes automatically to the chart description.
Margins and titles
In the diagram, we see a lot of margins at both ends of the lines that are not needed. To fix the problem, double-click on the point connected to the horizontal axis and then change the Axis position mode from Between tick marks to On tick marks. The diagram lines will now cover all the sections, leaving less blank space at the margins.
Finally, it is better to consider a comprehensive title for the chart. We can also use subheadings to further explain the purpose of using charts. Titles help the audience understand the type of data displayed faster.
Draw a bar chart in Excel
Now it’s time to start drawing charts in Excel. To draw a chart in Excel, just follow the steps below:
1. Select the cells you want to include in the chart. These cells should include the title of each row and column. The cells you select will be the primary source of the data to be displayed on the chart. In the following example, we have selected cells A1: F6. (Note: A1: F6 means selecting cells from a cell in column A and row 1 to a cell in column F and row 6.)
2. From the Insert tab at the top of the Excel spreadsheet and the Charts section (as shown below), select the chart you need. In this example we use a bar chart.
3. Select your chart type from the menu that opens.
Remember that if you do not know exactly what type of chart to use for your selected cells, click on the Recommended Charts option. By default, this option will show the graph that is most useful for your data model. Of course, this Excel choice is not always the best choice.
Other features of charts:
There are many ways to make custom changes to charts. For example, Excel allows you to make changes to data, change chart types, and even change the position of a chart on an Excel page.
Change row and column data:
Sometimes you may want to change the segmentation of your chart. For example, in the diagram below; Book sales data is determined annually, with each column representing the book genre. Now we want to make changes to the chart, grouping by genre and each column to represent one year. Doing so will not change the data and will only change the type of chart grouping.
1. Select the corresponding chart.
2. From the Design tab, click the Switch Row / Column command.
3. The row and column information will change. In our example, the data information is grouped by genre, and each column represents a year.
Change chart type:
If you feel that your data is not displayed well in a particular type of chart, you can change your chart type. This is very simple to do. In the example we give, we try to change our graph from columnar to linear.
1. From the Design tab, click Change Chart Type.
2. A window to change the chart type is displayed. Click on the new type you want, as well as the type of design you want, and then press the OK button. In our example, the line chart will be our choice.
3. The new chart will simply be displayed. In the example we gave, a bar chart is a better option for showing sales over time.
Replace the chart:
After drawing a chart in Excel, your chart will be displayed as an object on your worksheet. You can change the display of this chart without any problems. To do this, you can follow the steps below:
1. Select the diagram you want to reposition.
2. From the Design tab, click on the Move Chart command.
3. A window to change the position of the chart opens. Select your desired location for the chart. We decided to move the chart to another page. A topic that creates a new worksheet.
4. Click OK.
5. The chart will be displayed on the page you want. In our example, the chart in the new worksheet was moved as shown below.
Keep chart data up to date
By default, if you want to add data to your rows and columns after drawing a chart in Excel, you will not see any changes to the chart. To solve this problem, you must specify the scope of your data. This is easy to do. Click on the chart. This causes the cells to be displayed. You can simply apply a larger area to your chart by enlarging the selected area in the cells (as shown below).
If you are constantly adding data, it may seem tedious to do this several times. Fortunately, there is an easier way to do this. All you have to do is convert your data source cells to table format. Then create a chart according to your table. This way, every time you add data to a table, the required changes to the chart are automatically applied.
Frequently Asked Questions by Users About Drawing Graphs in Excel
How many types of charts can be drawn in Excel?
In Excel, you can draw bar charts, line charts, pie charts, bar charts, area charts, and 3D area charts.
What are the features of Excel compared to other charting programs?
Excel supports various charts and you can make many changes to them.
How to keep the chart up to date in Excel?
All you have to do is convert your data source cells to table format. Then create a chart according to your table. This way, every time you add data to a table, the required changes to the chart are automatically applied.