How to Make a Frequency Table in Excel: Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

So, you’re looking to make a frequency table in Excel? No problem! In just a few steps, you can turn raw data into an organized table that shows how often each value occurs. You’ll use Excel’s built-in tools and functions, making it quick and easy—even if you’re not a spreadsheet whiz.

How to Make a Frequency Table in Excel

Creating a frequency table in Excel is all about breaking down your data into digestible parts. The following steps will guide you from start to finish.

Step 1: Open Excel and Input Your Data

Start by opening Excel and entering your data into a single column.

Open a new Excel spreadsheet and type your data into one column. Make sure each piece of data gets its own cell. If your data is already in Excel, you’re ahead of the game!

Step 2: Sort Your Data

Sort your data in ascending order to make the frequency counting easier.

Click on any cell within your data column, then go to the "Data" tab and click "Sort A to Z". This will arrange your data from smallest to largest, making it simpler to count frequencies.

Step 3: Create a Bin Range

Decide the intervals (bins) you want to use for your frequency table.

Create a new column next to your data and list out the bin intervals. For example, if you’re working with test scores from 0 to 100, you might choose intervals like 0-10, 11-20, etc.

Step 4: Use the FREQUENCY Function

Use the FREQUENCY function to count how many data points fall into each bin.

Click on the cell next to your first bin interval, type =FREQUENCY( and then select the range of your data. Next, select the range of your bins and close the function with a parenthesis. Press "Ctrl+Shift+Enter" to execute it as an array formula.

Step 5: Format Your Table

Make your table visually appealing and easy to read.

Add labels for your bins and frequency counts. You can also use Excel’s formatting tools to add borders, change text color, and more to make your frequency table stand out.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a neat and tidy frequency table that clearly shows how often each value or range of values appears in your data.

Tips for Making a Frequency Table in Excel

  1. Use Data Validation: Data validation can help ensure that your input data is accurate and consistent before you start creating your frequency table.
  2. Check for Duplicates: Use Excel’s "Remove Duplicates" feature to clean up your data before making the table.
  3. Use Conditional Formatting: Highlight certain bins or frequencies using conditional formatting to draw attention to important data points.
  4. Save Your Work Often: Make sure to save your Excel file periodically to avoid losing your work.
  5. Utilize PivotTables: For more complex data sets, consider using PivotTables to create more dynamic frequency tables.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my data is not numerical?

You can still create a frequency table. Just categorize your data into distinct groups and follow similar steps.

Can I use Excel on my phone to make a frequency table?

Yes, but it might be more cumbersome due to the smaller screen and limited features compared to the desktop version.

How do I update the frequency table if my data changes?

Simply adjust your data range in the FREQUENCY function and press "Ctrl+Shift+Enter" again to update the counts.

Can I make a frequency table with multiple columns of data?

Absolutely! You can either combine the data into one column or create individual frequency tables for each column.

Is there a way to visualize my frequency table?

Yes, you can create a histogram or a bar chart in Excel to visually represent your frequency table data.


  1. Open Excel and input your data.
  2. Sort your data.
  3. Create a bin range.
  4. Use the FREQUENCY function.
  5. Format your table.


Creating a frequency table in Excel may seem daunting at first, but once you know the steps, it’s a breeze. You can turn a chaotic mess of numbers into a clear and organized table in mere minutes. Plus, with Excel’s powerful functions and formatting options, your table will not only be functional but also visually appealing.

Whether you’re a student trying to analyze test scores or a business professional sorting through sales data, mastering how to make a frequency table in Excel is a valuable skill. So next time you have a pile of data staring you down, fire up Excel and create a frequency table to make sense of it all. Don’t forget to save your work and experiment with different features to make the most out of your data analysis. Happy Excel-ing!

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