How to Make a Graph in Publisher

By Filonia LeChat

At a quick glance, the Microsoft Publisher desktop publishing software looks extremely similar to its other Microsoft Office Suite counterparts, with nearly identical tabs, ribbons and buttons. But Publisher lacks one feature Word and Excel offer -- the ability to automatically create graphs. This doesn't mean your publications have to go without charts and other designs; instead, take advantage of Publisher's in-program shapes collection and make a workaround with your own drawings.

Step 1

Start Microsoft Publisher. Click the "Blank 8.5 x 11" button on the "Available Templates" screen. This isn't establishing your graph size, it just gives you a blank canvas to work on.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab at the top of the screen. Click the "Shapes" button. Choose the rectangle shape in the "Basic Shapes" section. When the cursor changes to a plus sign, draw an outline forming the area for the graph, which will serve as the border. Everything for the graph should fit inside this rectangle.

Step 3

Click the first line shape in the "Lines" section of the "Shapes" button. Press and hold down the "Shift" key. Draw a line from the top left to the top right side of the rectangle. Draw horizontal lines from top to bottom until the rectangle is filled. Click and drag guides from the ruler running across the top of the Publisher page if needed.

Step 4

Press and hold down the "Shift" key and draw lines from the top of the page to the bottom of the page, working your way left to right to complete the grid. Use the guides on the rule running down the left side of the page if needed.

Step 5

Click the "Insert" tab again. Click the "Draw Text Box" button. When the cursor changes to a plus sign, draw the first text box to form the leftmost identifier on the Y axis, running along the bottom of the rectangle. Type the identifier, such as "10."

Step 6

Click the text box and press the "Ctrl" and "C" keys to copy it. Press the "Ctrl" and "V" keys to paste in a copy, then click inside the text box and type the next identifier, such as "20." Drag it into place along the Y axis. Repeat until you have completed the Y axis.

Step 7

Paste text boxes running up the X axis, typing in the information such as "2012," "2011," "2010" and so on to fit your graph.

Step 8

Click the "Shapes" button again on the "Insert" tab. Choose the shape to begin the actual graph, such as the "Elbow Connector," the fourth option under the "Lines" section, or a circle for a scatter plot graph.

Step 9

Position the cursor on the graph grid, click and drag the mouse to draw the symbols. Repeat to add additional symbols or complete the graph, such as adding divider lines in the case of using a circle shape for a pie graph.

Step 10

Click the "Draw Text Box" tool once more and draw a text box across the top of the graph. Type a title for the graph. This is optional.

Step 11

Click the "File" tab. Click "Save As" and enter a name in the "File name" box. Click the "Save" button.