How to Make a Graph in Excel

Graphs, also called charts, are diagrams that show connections or interrelations between two or more things, usually sets of data. Some common types of graphs are bar, line, scatter and pie. Microsoft Excel is a great tool for creating a good-looking graph based on your data. This guide is written for Microsoft Excel 2003, but the process is similar for other versions.

Here's how to make a graph in Excel:


  1. Label your data Input a label for each type of data you will graph in a separate column. For example, if you're graphing precipitation in a particular place, you may want to use labels such as Month, Rain and Snow.
  2. Input your data Input the appropriate values under each label. In our example, the first column should list the months of the year.
  3. Select your data You can click and drag across the cells where you've entered your data, or you can hold down the shift key while using the arrow keys to select the appropriate cells. Be sure to include all your labels. [NCSU]
  4. Insert the chart Select the Insert tab at the top of the window. Select chart. This will open the Chart Wizard.
  5. Select the type of chart you want to make Choose the chart type that will best display your data. For example, pie charts are good for displaying percentages and line charts are good for displaying data over time. [DePaul]
  6. Check your chart Click and hold the Press and Hold to View Sample button to see what your chart looks like. If it looks good, click Next.
  7. Name your chart Enter a title for your chart where it says Chart Title. This is under the Titles tab.
  8. Complete your chart Click the other tabs. You can adjust the way your chart looks by changing the various options listed. The displayed graphic will give you a preview of each change. Click Next when you're finished.
  9. Choose the chart location Decide whether to place the chart on your existing worksheet or on a new one. Click Finish and you're done!