How to make a graph in Excel

Knowing how to make a graph in Excel is vital for any position that calls for data processing.

Excel graphing is also highly useful for managing finances, keeping track of resources, monitoring progress, and much more.

So, how does it work, and does it take long to make a graph in Excel?

We’ll take a closer look and teach you all about graphing data in Excel, including:

  • How to make a chart and save it as a template
  • How to make a line graph from two datasets
  • How to create a bar chart in Excel
  • How to swiftly make pie charts in Excel

How to create a graph in Excel

In the same way that you can use Word templates to draw up all kinds of graphics when using that software, creating graphs in Excel is easiest when you’re able to use a template.

There are, however, multiple ways to create a graph in Excel, and the best methods to choose vary depending on what kind of graph you’re after.

We’ll walk you through how to make a graph of various kinds, including charts, line graphs, bar graphs, and pie charts.

All graphs, though, have one thing in common: they’re based on data sets.

To start creating a graph in Excel, you’ll have to have a set of data ready to use first. You can then select this data and use it as the basis of your Excel graph. 

How to make a chart in Excel and save it as a template

Step 1. Create a chart using any of the instructions set out below. It’s important that you create a chart you’re going to be using often as a template.

Step 2. Right-click your chart and choose Save as template. You’ll then be able to name it and choose where to save it.

Step 3. Start using your template. It’ll now show up automatically anytime you make charts in Excel, so you can easily create more charts in the same style.

How to make a line graph in Excel with two sets of data

A highly common type of graph in Excel is the classic line graph.

As it turns out, there’s not a big difference between the instructions for how to make a line graph in Excel and how to make a line graph with multiple lines in Excel.

We’ll show you how to create a graph with one, two, or more lines below:

Step 1. Format your data such that you’ve got a set of values that changes over time (or according to another axis). For a double line graph, use two sets of changing values that shift along the same axis.

Step 2. Select your data and go to Insert > Charts > Line graph.

Step 3. Make sure your graph is representing the data correctly, and that the axes are where you want them. You can always swap the X and Y axis around if your graph doesn’t seem to make much sense, or if it looks like the line is going sideways.

How to make a bar graph in Excel to represent your dataset

When you’re trying to create graphs in Excel that compare the information you’ve got regarding two or more groups, bar graphs may well be your best bet. 

Fortunately, this type of graphing in Excel is very easy to do.

This is how to make a double bar graph in Excel (for more than two bars, simply add more data to your set):

Step 1. Make sure your data is formatted correctly. Each group you’re trying to include in your comparative bar graph should have its own row or column, so you’ll want at least two for a double bar graph.

Step 2. Create the graph. Select the data, then choose Insert > Charts > Bar graph and pick the one you want.

Step 3. Adjust the aesthetics. Change colors, add labels, and more once the basic graph has been created.

How to make a pie graph in Excel in under 60 seconds

Here’s how to make a pie graph in Excel very quickly.

Step 1. Select the data set that you’re planning to use as the basis of your pie graph.

Step 2. Go to Insert > Charts > Pie Graph. This may be labeled as “pie chart” instead depending on your location settings.

Step 3. Click on the style of pie graph you’d like to use, then let the automatic Excel graph maker do the work for you.

And that’s it! You’ll have a fully usable pie graph on your hands in under a minute.

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So, that’s all you need to know about how to make graphs in Excel.

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