Microsoft Excel spreadsheets have an intuitive operation that allows you to create graphs and charts from the selected data. Thanks to Excel 2010, you will be able to make charts in order to increase the efficiency of your reports.
Part 1 of 3: Gather the data
Step 1. Open your Excel 2010 software
Step 2. Click the File menu to open an existing worksheet or start a new worksheet
Step 3. Enter the data
Entering a series of data requires prior organization. Most people enter the individuals in the first column, column A, and then enter the variables for each individual in the following columns.
- If, for example, you compare the sales results of multiple people, the people will be listed in column 1, while their weekly, quarterly and yearly sales will be listed in the following columns.
- Keep in mind that in most graphs or charts, the information in column A will appear on the x-axis, that is, on the horizontal axis. However, in the case of bar charts, the data of individuals automatically correspond to the y-axis, i.e. the vertical axis.
Step 4. Use formulas
Remember to add up your data in the last column or in the last row. This is essential if you are using a pie chart that operates with percentages.
To enter a formula in Excel, you need to highlight the data in a row or column. Then you need to click on the Function fx button, then you will choose a type of formula, for example a sum
Step 5. Type a title for the worksheet or graph using the first few rows
Use the titles in the second row and second column to explain what your data is.
- The titles will be transferred to the chart when you create it.
- You can enter your data and titles in any part of the spreadsheet. If you are creating a chart for the first time, you should aim to keep the data collected in a small area so that you can work with it more easily.
Step 6. Save your worksheet before continuing
Part 2 of 3: insert the chart
Step 1. Select the data you just entered
Drag your cursor from the top left title to the bottom right corner of the data.
- If you want a simple chart representing only a series of data, you should select only the information in the first and second column.
- If you want to make a graph with several variables in order to show trends, then select several variables.
- Make sure that you also select the titles of the worksheet.
Step 2. Select the Insert tab at the top of the page
In Excel 2010, the Insert tab is located between the Home tab and the Layout tab.
Step 3. Click on “Graphics”
Graphs and charts are all available in this section and are used interchangeably to represent data.
Step 4. Choose a chart type
Each type of chart is represented by a small icon explaining what it looks like.
You can return to this chart menu to choose a different chart option, as long as your chart is selected
Step 5. Hover your cursor over the graph
Right click with your mouse and choose “Format Chart Area”.
- Cycle through the choices in the left column, such as Border, Fill, 3-D, Gloss, and Shadow.
- Format the appearance of the chart by selecting the colors and shadows that match your preferences.
Part 3 of 3: choose the type of chart
Step 1. Insert a bar chart, if you want to compare several correlated objects based on a few variables
The bars corresponding to each object can be grouped or stacked, depending on how you want to compare the variables.
- Each object in the worksheet is listed separately in a single bar. No line connects them.
- If you use our previous example of weekly, quarterly, and yearly sales results, you can create different colored bars for each individual. You can choose to place the bars side by side or condense them into a single bar.
Step 2. Choose a curve type chart
If you want to plot a time series of data, this is the best way to show how the data varies over time, whether in days, weeks, or years.
Each data in your series will be represented by a point on the graph. The lines will connect these dots to show the variations
Step 3. Select a point cloud chart
This type of chart is similar to a line chart because it plots data on x / y axes. You can choose to leave the points unconnected using a scatter plot or connect them with smooth or straight lines.
The scatter plot is perfect for plotting different variables on the same graph, thus allowing the variables to overlap. You can easily show trends on the data
Step 4. Choose a chart type
Area charts are great for comparing two sets of data, area charts are used to show variations in amplitude, and pie charts are used to visualize percentages.