How to create bar chart in Excel

Create a bar graph in Excel. © Ted French

This tutorial covers the use of the Graphics Wizard in Excel 2003 to create a bar graph. This guides you through the use of the most common features found on the four screens of the Graphics Wizard.

The Graphics Wizard consists of a series of dialog boxes that give you all the options available to create a graph.

The Four Graphics Wizard Dialog Boxes or Steps

  1. Select the map type such as pie chart, bar chart or line chart.
  2. Select or verify the data that will be used to create the graph.
  3. Add titles to the chart and choose different map options such as adding labels and a legend.
  4. Decide whether the graph should be on the same page as the data or on a separate page.

Note: What many of us call a bar graph is referred to in Excel as a bar graph or a bar graph .

The graph wizard is no more

The graphics wizard has been removed from Excel, starting with version 2007. It has been replaced with card options that appear below the ribbon insert .

If you have a version of the program later than Excel 2003, use the following links for other graphical / graphical tutorials in Excel:

  • Excel 2013 Bar Chart / Column Chart Tutorial
  • Excel 2010/2007 Bar Chart / Column Chart Manual

02 of 09

The bargraphy data input

Create a bar graph in Excel. © Ted French

The first step in creating a bar graph is to enter the data into the worksheet .

Keep the following rules in mind when entering the data:

  1. Do not leave blank rowsor columns when entering your data.
  2. Enter your datain columns.

Note: When compiling the spreadsheet, list the names that describe the data in one column and to the right of it, the data itself. If there is more than one data set, list them one after the other in columns with the title for each data set at the top.

To follow this manual, enter the data in step 9 of this manual.

03 of 09

Select the bar chart data – two options

Create a bar graph in Excel. © Ted French

Use the mouse

  1. Drag select with the mouse button to highlight the cells that contain the data to be included in the bar graph.

Use the keyboard

  1. Click on the top left of the bar graph data.
  2. Hold down the SHIFTkey on the keyboard.
  3. Use the arrow keys on the keyboard to select the data to be included in the bar graph.

Note: Make sure you select any column and row titles you want to include in the graph.

For this tutorial

  1. Mark the block of cells from A2 to D5, which includes the column titles and the row headings

04 of 09

How to start the Graphics Wizard

The Graphic Wizard icon on the default toolbar. © Ted French

You have two choices to start the Excel Chart Wizard.

  1. Click the Graphic Wizardicon on the default toolbar (see image example above)
  2. Choose Add> Chart …from the menu.

For this tutorial

  1. Start the Graphics Wizard with the method you prefer.

The following pages work through the four steps of the Graphics Wizard.

05 of 09

Step 1 – Choose a Graph Type

Create a bar graph in Excel. © Ted French

Remember: What most of us call a bar graph is referred to in Excel as a bar graph or a bar graph .

Select a ticket on the Standard tab

  1. Select a card type from the left panel.
  2. Select a subtype of the map in the right panel.

Note: If you want to create graphs that are a little more exotic, select the Custom Types tab at the top of the Type Type dialog box.

For this manual
(under the tab Standard diagram types)

  1. Select the type of ColumnMap in the left hand side.
  2. Select the subtype of the closed bar graphin the right pane.
  3. Click Next.

06 of 09

Step 2 – Preview your bar graph

Create a bar graph in Excel. © Ted French

  • If you select your data before starting the Excel Chart Wizard, you will see a preview of your bar graph in the top window of the dialog box.
  • On your spreadsheet, the data included in the graph is surrounded by the marching ants – the animated black border around your data.
  • Below the preview window is a box containing the cell referencesof the data series included in the graph.
  • If your bar graph does not look right, make sure you have selected the correct data range in the spreadsheet.

For this tutorial

  1. If your chart appears correctly in the preview window, click Next.

07 of 09

Step 3 – Format the bar graph

Create a bar graph in Excel. © Ted French

Although there are many options under the six tabs to change the look of your chart in this step, we’ll just add a title to our bar chart.

All parts of the graph can be changed after completing the Graphics Wizard.

It is not necessary to make all your formatting options now.

For this tutorial

  1. Click the titles tab at the top of the dialog box.
  2. In the subject Title title, enter the title The Cookie Shop 2003 – 2005 Revenue.

Note: when typing the titles, they should be added to the right of the preview window.

08 of 09

Step 4 – Graph Place

Graph Wizard Step 4 of 4. © Ted French

There are only two choices for where you want to place your bar graph:

  1. As a new sheet (place the graph on a different sheet of your data in the workbook)
  2. As an object in a sheet 1 (place the graph on the same sheet as your data in the workbook)

For this tutorial

  1. Click the radio button to place the graph as an object in page 1.
  2. Click Finish

Formatting the bar graph

Once the graphic wizard is finished, your bar graph will be placed on the worksheet. The graph still needs to be formatted before it can be considered complete.

09 of 09

Bar Graphic Tutorial Data

Enter the data below in the cells indicated to create the bar graph contained in this manual. There is no worksheet formatting covered in this tutorial, but it will not affect your bar graph.

Cell – Data
A1 – Revenue Summary – The Cookie Shop
A3 – Total Revenue:
A4 – Total Expenses:
A5 – Profit / Loss:
B2 – 2003
B3 – 82837
B4 – 57190
B5 – 25674
C2 – 2004
C3 – 83291
C4 – 59276
C5 – 26101
D2 – 2005
D3 – 75682
D4 – 68645
D5 – 18492


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