How to Create a Bar Graph in Excel

By Lara Webster

Microsoft Excel spreadsheets allow users to organize their data in a variety of ways. One way to make your data more interesting and visually appealing is to create a chart or graph representation. Excel makes it quite simple to turn columns of data into bright visual aids that can be used in a presentation or report. Bar charts show data horizontally.

Step 1

Open Excel on your computer to a new spreadsheet.

Step 2

Enter the type of numerical data to be represented in the A column. For example, if you want to create a bar chart that shows what percentage of people from various states smoke cigarettes, enter the name of the states vertically in column A.

Step 3

Enter the numerical data in column B. In the above example, the data in row B would be the percentage of smokers in each state. If 13% of people in Alabama smoke cigarettes, Alabama would be in cell A1 and 13% would be in cell B1.

Step 4

Highlight all of the data to be included in the chart.

Step 5

Select the "Insert" tab from the Excel toolbar and go to "Bar" in the "Charts" section.

Step 6

Click on the style of bar chart that you want to create. After the chart appears in the center of the screen, you can change the layout and colors in the chart by using the "Design" tab of the toolbar.