How to Do Frequency Distribution in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Do Frequency Distribution in Excel

Doing a frequency distribution in Excel is a straightforward process that helps you analyze data patterns quickly. By using Excel’s built-in functions, you can easily organize your data into a clear and understandable format. In this guide, we’ll take you step-by-step through the process so you’ll be able to create frequency distributions with confidence.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Do Frequency Distribution in Excel

In the following steps, we’ll show you how to create a frequency distribution table in Excel. This will help you see how often each value or range of values occurs in your data set.

Step 1: Enter Your Data

The first thing you need to do is enter your data into an Excel spreadsheet.

In your Excel worksheet, input all the data values you want to analyze. Make sure that you enter them in a single column for simplicity.

Step 2: Sort Your Data

Next, sort your data to make it easier to understand the distribution.

Highlight the column with your data, go to the "Data" tab, and click on "Sort A to Z" or "Sort Smallest to Largest." This will arrange your data in ascending order.

Step 3: Create Bin Ranges

Now, create bin ranges which will help categorize your data.

In a new column, list the bin ranges you want to use. For example, if you are categorizing test scores, you might use ranges like 0-10, 11-20, etc.

Step 4: Use the FREQUENCY Function

Apply the FREQUENCY function to calculate the frequency of each bin range.

Select the cells where you want the frequency counts to appear. Enter the formula =FREQUENCY( followed by the range of your data and the range of your bins. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to make it an array formula.

Step 5: Create a Histogram (Optional)

For a visual representation, create a histogram.

Go to the "Insert" tab, click on "Insert Statistic Chart," and select "Histogram." This will give you a visual look at your frequency distribution.

After completing all these steps, you’ll have a frequency distribution table and, optionally, a histogram that shows the pattern of your data.

Tips for Doing Frequency Distribution in Excel

  • Make sure your data is clean: Remove any duplicates or errors in your data before starting.
  • Use consistent bin sizes: This makes it easier to interpret the frequency distribution.
  • Label your bins clearly: This will help you and others understand the distribution.
  • Double-check your formulas: Ensure that your FREQUENCY function includes the correct ranges.
  • Save your work: Always save your Excel file to avoid losing any data.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a frequency distribution?

A frequency distribution shows how often each value or range of values occurs in a data set.

Why should I use Excel for frequency distribution?

Excel is a powerful tool that makes it easy to organize, sort, and analyze data.

Can I make a frequency distribution for text data?

Yes, using Excel’s COUNTIF function, you can count how often each text value appears.

What is the difference between a histogram and a bar chart?

A histogram groups numbers into ranges, while a bar chart compares individual categories.

How can I highlight specific bins in the histogram?

You can format specific bars in the histogram by selecting them and using the formatting options in Excel.


  1. Enter your data.
  2. Sort your data.
  3. Create bin ranges.
  4. Use the FREQUENCY function.
  5. Create a histogram (optional).


By following these steps, you can easily create a frequency distribution in Excel. This is a valuable skill for analyzing data patterns, whether you’re looking at test scores, sales numbers, or survey responses. Not only does it help in understanding the data, but it also aids in making informed decisions based on that data.

If you’re interested in diving deeper, there are plenty of resources and tutorials available online that can further enhance your Excel skills. Don’t hesitate to experiment with different bin ranges and visualization options to see what works best for your specific dataset. Happy analyzing!

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