Creating a Chart

Excel charts let you illustrate your workbook data graphically to see trends. Also use charts in Excel to visualize comparisons.

Types of charts

Excel offers several ways to chart your data.

Important pointThink of a chart as a tool that helps people visualize data. Charts deliver information more quickly and easily than a column of numbers in a worksheet, especially to people sitting in the audience for a presentation. Choosing the right kind of chart for your data can help get your point across.

Here are some of the most common charts:

Pie chart

A pie chart hows the relationship of parts to a whole. If the pie is the sum of the source data, each slice of the pie represents an individual number.

pie chart

Column or bar chart

This is useful to follow trends or to compare numbers. Each column represents a particular value. A bar chart is a horizontal version of a column chart.

column chart

Line chart

A line chart is useful for tracking trends over time, making it easy to study the rise or decline of a particular item. A variation of the line chart is the area chart, where the area under the line is shaded a particular color.

line chart