How to Create A Chart in Microsoft Excel for Windows

Uploaded by agirvin27 on 04.10.2010

Hello, my name is Alie Girvin and today my goal is to teach you about the use of Microsoft
Excel to construct and edit a chart. To create a chart, a data table needs to be present.
Here, I have entered the data about a science experiment into the cells. After the data
is present, you will need to select the information you hope to put into the chart. If I wanted
to make a chart to see the change in growth of only one of the plants, I would select
just that information like this. If you want to select two different rows, which are separate
from each other, you must first click on the first row you hope to use, hold down the control
button and run your cursor over each row, one at a time, until they are both highlighted.
For my purposes, I am going to select the whole data table. By doing this I will be
able to compare the growth of each plant over time. Once you have selected the information
you hope to chart, choose the insert tab on the ribbon. Under the insert tab there are
groups for inserting a table, an illustration, a chart, a link or a text. Since we are learning
how to create a chart, we will focus our attention on the chart group. If you click on the chart
dialog box launcher in the bottom right corner of the chart group, you will be able to see
all of the many types of charts that can be created using Microsoft Excel. It is important
to select an appropriate type of graph for your data. Some of the most popular charts,
otherwise known as graphs, include line, pie, and bar graphs. In science, two of the most
popular charts are line graphs and X-Y scatter plots. The data I am using depicts a change
over time and thus a line graph best conveys this type of information. When you click on
this type of chart, you will view the different layout options. I am going to start with the
simplest type and make it more creative from there. After clicking on the line graph option,
a chart will pop up, like so, displaying my selected data as a line graph. The chart will
automatically be under the chart tools tab, which contains design, layout and format tabs.
The design tab will be open already after you selected the chart you wish to make. Here,
you will be able to change different aspects of the design of the line graph. Under the
design group on the ribbon you will be able to choose a pre-made layout for your graph
by selecting one of the options in the chart layout group. It is convenient to choose a
chart layout instead of inserting a title, legend, axis titles and other aspects of a
chart that you can use under the layout tab. For my purposes, I am going to select the
first one due to the fact it contains three essentials for my graph: a title, a legend
and gridlines. It is also fun to change the colors and shapes of your lines and you can
do so by exploring the options available in the chart styles group. Selecting the drop-down
list on the right hand side of the box, you can view all the various options available.
I like the black background, with the colorful lines so I am going to select that option.
Next, the layout of the graph can be changed. You need to select the tab that says “layout”
at the top in the chart tools. If I had not already inserted a title I could do so by
using the labels group. The same can be done to insert axis titles, legends and gridlines
in the axes group. At this time, I am going to change the labels on the graph by double
clicking in the area, deleting the current text and retyping the correct words. My chart
title is “The Impact of Solution on Plant Growth”. My Y-axis title is inches grown.
Another common tool used in science is known as a trendline, which you can find in the
analysis group under the layout tab. Trendlines can be very helpful when analyzing data trends
over time. The third chart tool is the format tab, which again allows you to be creative.
You can change the background color on any part of your graph by using the shape tools
and you can change the font styles on your graph by using the word art styles group.
Not everything I have demonstrated for you needs to be done to create a successful graph,
but it’s very beneficial knowledge to have. I have pre-made some examples of the other
types of graphs that show the other possibilities that can be used to chart information. Here
we have both a bar graph and a pie graph using the same scientific data as before. Also,
my classmate Paige has provided a thorough example on her Screencast of how to construct
a pie graph and a column chart. Instead of focusing on scientific data, she used information
about an elementary school fundraiser. Thank you for taking the time to listen to my screencast.
I hope it was useful to you!