How to Do a Chart in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

Creating charts in Excel is a simple, yet powerful way to visualize your data. In just a few steps, you can transform dry statistics into engaging visuals that highlight trends, patterns, and insights. Whether you’re preparing a report, a presentation, or just trying to better understand your data, Excel charts are an invaluable tool.

How to Do a Chart in Excel

In this section, we’ll walk through the essential steps to create a chart in Excel. By following these steps, you’ll be able to turn your numerical data into visually appealing charts.

Step 1: Select Your Data

First, select the data you want to turn into a chart.

Make sure you include both the data points and their labels. This helps Excel understand what you want to visualize. If your data is in a table format, click and drag to highlight the cells you need.

Step 2: Go to the Insert Tab

Second, navigate to the Insert tab on the Excel ribbon.

The Insert tab offers various options for adding different elements to your spreadsheet, including charts. Look for the "Charts" group in the middle of this tab.

Step 3: Choose Your Chart Type

Third, click on the type of chart you want to create.

Excel offers several types of charts such as bar, line, pie, and more. Select the one that best represents your data. If you’re not sure, hover over each option to see a preview.

Step 4: Customize Your Chart

Fourth, customize your chart to make it more informative.

Once the chart is created, you can click on various elements to format them. Change the colors, labels, and style to suit your needs. Use the "Chart Tools" ribbon that appears when you click the chart.

Step 5: Save or Share Your Chart

Finally, save or share your chart as needed.

You can save your Excel file, export the chart as an image, or copy it into another document. This makes it easy to include your chart in presentations or reports.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a polished, professional-looking chart that makes your data easy to understand.

Tips for Creating Charts in Excel

Here are some additional tips to help you create even better charts in Excel:

  • Choose the right chart type: Different data sets are best represented by different chart types. Take the time to experiment with various types to find the best fit.
  • Use chart styles and layouts: Excel provides predefined styles and layouts that can make your chart look more professional.
  • Label everything: Make sure all axes and data points are clearly labeled. This helps others understand your chart at a glance.
  • Keep it simple: Avoid cluttering your chart with too much information. Focus on the key data points and trends.
  • Update your data: If your data changes, remember to update your chart. Excel will automatically refresh the chart to reflect the new data.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of charts can I create in Excel?

Excel offers a variety of chart types including bar charts, line charts, pie charts, scatter plots, and more. Each type is suited for different kinds of data analysis.

How do I change the chart type after creating it?

You can change the chart type by clicking on the chart, then going to the "Chart Tools" ribbon and selecting "Change Chart Type."

Can I customize the colors of my chart?

Yes, you can customize the colors by clicking on any element of the chart and using the formatting options in the "Chart Tools" ribbon.

How do I add labels to my chart?

You can add labels by clicking the "Add Chart Element" button in the "Chart Tools" ribbon, then selecting the type of label you want to add.

Can I create a chart from non-adjacent cells?

Yes, you can select non-adjacent cells by holding down the Ctrl key while selecting your data ranges.


  1. Select your data.
  2. Go to the Insert tab.
  3. Choose your chart type.
  4. Customize your chart.
  5. Save or share your chart.


Creating a chart in Excel is an effective way to bring your data to life. By following these simple steps, you can create visually appealing charts that make your data easier to understand and present. Whether you’re a student, a professional, or just someone looking to get more out of Excel, mastering this skill can provide you with powerful insights and a clear way to communicate your findings.

Don’t stop here! Explore more about Excel’s extensive features, experiment with different chart types, and continually refine your skills. The more you practice, the more proficient you’ll become. So, get started on creating your first chart in Excel today and see the difference it makes!

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