How to create a bar chart in Excel

How to create a bar chart in Excel
How to create a bar chart in Excel

For certain figures, it is often wise to draw a bar or column chart (histogram) in order to highlight certain phenomena: Excel excels in this creation of graphs.


Part 1 of 2: Add data

Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 1

Step 1. Run Microsoft Excel

Its icon is a green folder with a white “X” on the cover.

  • If you already have an Excel file containing data, find it on your hard drive, double click on its icon, then go directly to 2e part.
Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 2

Step 2. Click New Workbook (PC) or New Excel Workbook (Mac)

In both cases, the icon is in the upper left corner of the start window.

Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 3

Step 3. Identify by headings the nature of the axes of your chart

Click on the cell A1 (horizontal axis), then type the nature of the data. Do the same with B1 (vertical axis).

  • Let's assume that you want to study your city's precipitation over a week. In A1, you will put as the header Days and in B1, Precipitation.
Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 4

Step 4. Enter your data for the abscissas and ordinates

Depending on the case, you will type in your columns TO Where B literal or numeric data: in each column, the data is of the same kind.

  • Let's say that on Monday 70mm of rain fell, you would type Monday in the cell A2 and 70 in B2.
Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 5

Step 5. Complete your table

Enter all the data that will be graphed: you are ready to move on to the graph creation part.

Part 2 of 2: Create a bar chart

Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 6

Step 1. Select all of your data

To do this, click on the cell A1, hold down the Shift key, then click the last value at the bottom of the column B. All data is then highlighted, because selected.

If your data is classified in three, four or even ten columns, the principle is the same: click on the cell at the top and on the left, press the Shift key and finally click on the filled cell, the lowest and the furthest. law

Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 7

Step 2. Click on the Insert tab

At the top of the Excel window, in the top green ribbon, it is just to the right of the tab Home.

Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 8

Step 3. Click on the Bars icon

The icon in question (three horizontal colored bars) is in the group Graphics, which is under and to the right of the tab Insertion.

Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 9

Step 4. Click on one of the histogram models

The choice of models depends on your operating system and the version of Excel (paid or not, recent or not) you have on your computer. However, there are some must-haves like the ones below:

  • with 2D histogram, you will build histograms with simple vertical bars;
  • with 2D histogram, you will make histograms with vertical bars, but in three dimensions;
  • with 2D bars, you will build a graph with simple bars, not vertical, but horizontal;
  • with 3D bars, you will make a horizontal bar graph, but in three dimensions.
Make a Bar Graph in Excel Step 10

Step 5. Customize the look of your chart

Once the type of chart has been chosen, you can use the menu Creation, black tab on the top row of tabs. With this menu, you can adopt another model, change the colors of the graphic or even opt for another graphic.

  • The window Creation only appears as a tab in the ribbon when you click on your chart.
  • To change the title of the chart, click on it, then type the new title directly. The title moves at your convenience.


  • Any diagram created in Excel can be copied and then pasted into any of the Microsoft Office suite applications (Word, PowerPoint, etc.).
  • To reverse the axes (vertical / horizontal), go to Creation, then select Swap rows / columns in the group Data.

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