How to Make a Stem & Leaf Plot on Microsoft Word

By Lily Medina

A leaf-and-stem plot provides a clear, simple way to present multiple numbers in a dataset. This type of diagram contains two columns. In each row, the left column contains a "stem," the first digit of a longer number, and the right column contains "leaves," subsequent digits that form multiple numbers all beginning with the stem number. For example, "9" in the stem place and "256" in the leaf place presents three numbers: 92, 95 and 96. To write a leaf and stem plot in Microsoft Word, create a table or use the "Tab" key.

Using Table

Step 1

Open the Word document in which you want to insert a stem and leaf plot. Click in the text in the spot where you want to place the plot.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab on the Ribbon.

Step 3

Click the "Table" icon on the Ribbon. On the drop-down menu, click "Insert Table," which launches the Insert Table dialog box.

Step 4

Type "2" in the "Number of columns" field. In the "Number of rows" field, type the number of stems you want to display in the plot plus one, so that you can label each column.

Step 5

Click "OK" at the bottom of the Insert Table dialog box.

Step 6

Hover the cursor over the middle line in the table until the cursor shows a vertical line and two horizontal arrows. Then, click and drag to the left so that the left cells, which will become the stems, are significantly smaller than the right cells, which will hold the leaves.

Step 7

Change the way the table looks, if desired, using the controls on the Ribbon. For example, you can format the table to display only one line, separating the stems and leaves, instead of showing borders for every cell. Highlight the whole table, then click the "Design" tab on the Ribbon. Click the arrow by the "Borders" button on the Ribbon, then click "No Border" on the drop-down menu. Open the drop-down menu again, then click "Inside Vertical Border."

Step 8

Type "Stem" into the top left cell, and type "Leaf" into the top right cell.

Step 9

Type the stem values into the cells in the left column, in ascending order, under the heading "Stem."

Step 10

Type the corresponding leaf values into the cells in the right column, under the heading "Leaf."

Using Tab Key

Step 1

Open the Word document in which you want to insert a stem and leaf plot. Click in the text in the spot where you want to place the plot. Begin on a new line.

Step 2

Type the word "Stem," then press the "Tab" key on your keyboard.

Step 3

Type the word "Leaf," then press the "Enter" key on your keyboard.

Step 4

Type the stem with the lowest value.

Step 5

Press the "Tab" key on your keyboard.

Step 6

Type all the leaf values that correlate to the stem you just typed.

Step 7

Press "Enter" to begin a new line.

Step 8

Type the next lowest stem value, press "Tab", type the corresponding leaf values, press "Enter." Repeat until the stem and leaf plot is complete.

Tips & Warnings

  • If each leaf value has only one digit, then you can write the leaves of one row in a single string or with single spaces separating them: 256 or 2 5 6. If the leaf values have multiple digits, then use commas and spaces: 23, 58, 62.