How to Create a Histogram in Excel


Data Collection

The first step in creating a histogram in Excel is to collect data. This data can be qualitative or quantitative, depending on what you are trying to measure. It is important to gather data in an organized manner to ensure that you are able to accurately construct the histogram. Careful data collection is key to creating an accurate and effective histogram in Excel.

Identify the data that needs to be graphed

Identifying the data that needs to be graphed is crucial for creating an accurate histogram. In Excel, this data should be organized into a list with each value in its own row or column. To correctly visualize the distribution of your data, which ranges over one independent variable, it’s important that the numbers are grouped together.

For example, if you have a list of ages from 25 to 75, organize them into groups such as:

  • 20-24
  • 25-29
  • 30-34
  • etc.

so that similar values are grouped together. Alternatively, if dealing with percentages such as:

  • 0-10%
  • 11-25%
  • etc.

those would also be grouped together. This will ensure your graph is visually appealing and easy to read.

Enter the data into an Excel spreadsheet

Creating a histogram in Microsoft Excel requires entering the data into an Excel spreadsheet. It’s important to ensure that each piece of data is correctly entered into its own cell. This can be done by highlighting the cells you wish to add data into and typing the corresponding data or copying and pasting from another Excel sheet or other software. Make sure each entry is in its own cell and that there are no blank cells between value entries.

When entering class intervals, separate them with a comma, space, or other delimiter as desired. For example, if given the intervals 0-10, 11-20, 21-30; these may be entered as:

  • 0-10 (or “0 – 10”)
  • 11-20 (or “11 – 20”)
  • 21-30 (or “21 – 30”)

Setting up the Chart

Creating a histogram in Excel requires a few steps to make sure your chart looks great. To begin you’ll need to enter your raw data into a table in Excel, then enter the data labels and bin numbers in separate columns. After the data is in place, you can select the range of cells that contain the data and create the chart. From there you can customize the chart to make sure it looks perfect.

Select the data to be graphed

Once you have your data organized in Excel, you are ready to set up a histogram. The first step is to select the data to be graphed and enter it into an Excel spreadsheet. This can be as simple as typing it in manually or pasting it from an existing source such as a PDF or text file.

Before selecting your data, keep in mind that histograms require both numeric and categorical data (that is, labels) for each category. If you need to separate the categories from the corresponding values, use a formula such as the VLOOKUP or INDEX/MATCH function to pull out the necessary information from another column or lookup table. After selecting your data, highlight the cells containing both labels and values and use Excel’s conditional formatting tools to make sure your values are highlighted correctly (generally dark red for positive numbers and light blue for negative numbers).

Once you have selected your data, click Insert > Histogram > Histogram from the top menu bar located at the top of any open worksheet in Excel. You will be presented with a dialogue window asking which column contains your labels and which columns contain your values. Select these accordingly and click OK.

Select the Insert tab

On the Insert tab, you’ll find several chart types, including “Histogram“. Click the icon to open the Histogram chart dialog box. This allows you to customize elements like data source and type of bins. You’ll also choose options and labels if desired.

Finally, click OK to insert the histogram into your Excel sheet.

Select the Histogram chart type

Once you have the data that you would like to display, you can create a histogram by selecting “Insert > Chart” from the ribbon at the top of Microsoft Excel. Then, find “Histogram” under the “Recommended Charts” heading and select it. A preview of what your data will look like in a histogram is next to each type.

Before proceeding any further, select where which range your data lies in by selecting the “Select Data” button on the left side of your chart sheet options. From there, enter in all of your data as well as any labels you prefer in your chart view. Six columns are typically required: one for the labels and five for the numbers that will be graphed or plotted on an x-axis level plane according to their frequencies.

Once you have finished entering all of your labels and values, hit “OK”. Excel will then display a preview of what your Histogram graph should look like with its default settings – if this is not accurate, simply click “Shift + F1” to open up more options under Format Chart Area that allow customizing various settings such as fill color and line aesthetics effects. Finally, follow any other prompts required to complete your visualization project!

Customizing the Chart

Creating a histogram in Excel is a fairly straightforward process, but customizing it to get the desired visual effect can be a bit tricky. You can customize the chart by changing the x-axis and y-axis labels, the background color, and the chart title. You can also make adjustments to the data points, such as entering different bin sizes, adjusting the color of the bars, and more.

Let’s take a look at how to customize a histogram in Excel:

Change the chart title

A chart’s title is a text box that sits atop the chart. This can help to create a better understanding of the data, as well as providing helpful context for people viewing it. Customizing the chart title will give your chart a unique and professional look and feel.

To change the chart title in Excel, double-click on it. This will open up the Title text box. From here, you can change all aspects of your title, like its font type, size and color or even add a different type of background or shadow effect. You can also move or reshape the text box if you’d like to make it fit your specific data perfectly.

Once you are done customizing your charts’ title, click anywhere outside of its border to apply the changes. It’s important to remember that changes made to titles don’t take effect until they are refreshed by clicking away from them after every edit is complete. After all changes have been made, your histogram should now have custom titles that reflect on its content perfectly!

Change the scale of the chart

When you create a chart in Excel, you can customize the chart to fit your needs. Changing the chart’s scale is a great way to emphasize certain aspects of your data. For histograms in particular, using a different scale can help pinpoint changes more easily.

To change the scale of your histogram:

  1. Click anywhere on your chart to select it.
  2. In the ribbon at the top, click ‘Design’ and then click ‘Select Data’ from the menu that appears if it is not already selected.
  3. Select ‘Edit’ next to Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels on the left side of the Edit Series window that appears.
  4. In the Axis Labels dialog box that appears, enter or adjust your Minimum and Maximum values for each axis, and then click OK when you’re done adjusting them.
  5. Select ‘Format Axis’ under Format Selection on the right side of the same page in Design mode and adjust any options you may want such as formatting numbers or setting tick position or size under Scale Options on each axis (this will reveal more detailed customization options). Once you’re finished with all necessary changes, click Close twice when done setting up your axes properties, close out of Design mode when finished with all adjustments, and be sure to save your file when finished!

Add labels and annotations

Once the data has been plotted, it’s helpful to add labels or annotations to further explain the chart. If the chart is intended to be used as a visual aid for documents, reports or presentations, annotation can be used to call out key points. Annotation also helps when you are creating charts in Excel for online use – labels can help viewers quickly understand what your data is saying.

To add annotation in Excel for Windows, do the following:

  1. Right-click on your chart and select Add Chart Element > Data Labels > None.
  2. Now right-click again on your chart and select Add Chart Element > Data Callout > None.
  3. Left click each of your data points (bars) and type in appropriate labels that explain what each value means.
  4. For more detail, click ‘Format Data Labels’ from the top menu bar above your chart and click ‘More Options’ from this list. This will bring up additional formatting options where you can change font size and style, color the background of specific markers or add symbols within individual label fields to further enhance visuals within the graph (e.g., dollar signs).
  5. To finalize your histogram annotation with a professional look, go to ‘Chart Styles.’ Here you’ll find a variety of customization tools that let you assign border colors, shadows and glow effects around individual names as well as prepare a basic layout template that can be used globally across all sheets in Excel (to save time).

Analyzing the Chart

A histogram is an essential tool for data analysis and can be used to visualize the data quickly and easily in Excel. Histograms are especially useful for analyzing the distribution of data points in a dataset and understanding the relationship between different pieces of data.

In this section, we’ll go over the steps for creating a histogram in Excel and how to use the chart to analyze the data:

Identify the shape of the distribution

Before creating a histogram using Excel, it is important to assess the shape of the data distribution. It is necessary to identify whether the data are symmetric or skewed, unimodal or multimodal and whether there are any outliers present.

  • Symmetric Data: In this type of distribution, the mean, median and mode are equal. A bell-shaped curve is an example of symmetric data.
  • Skewed Data: In this type of distribution, the mean and mode can differ from one another and they may possess either a positive or negative skew. A positively skewed curve has a long tail on the right side while a negatively skewed curve has a long tail on the left side.
  • Unimodal Data: A single ‘mode’ (most common value) typically indicates that your data comes from a unimodal population; that is, one with only one peak in its frequency distribution graph.
  • Multimodal Data: You can clearly observe two or more peaks (or modes) when you create your histogram for a multimodal dataset; that is, one with two or more central masses divided by distinct gaps surrounding them.
  • Outliers: An outlier in statistics is an observation which lies an abnormal distance from other values in a dataset due to unnatural influence such as measuring error or experimenter bias/error. Outliers can have an adverse effect on statistical performance if not accounted for and will likely be visible in your histogram – identifying them visually will help you assess their presence within your dataset before creating the chart itself.

Calculate the mean and median

After you have created the chart of data, it is important to analyze it to get an understanding of what it represents. One way to do this is by calculating the mean and median of the data set. The mean is calculated by finding the sum of all data points and dividing that number by how many points there were. The median is determined by finding the exact middle point in a data set.

The mean provides an average value for all values in a sample data set, while the median indicates the mid-point position. Knowing both mean and median numbers can show you whether your data set is skewed or evenly distributed. For example, if your sample contained five people with heights 72 inches, 68 inches, 66 inches, 60 inches, and 58 inches respectively – your mean would be equal to 65 inches while your median would be equal to 66 inches – showing that your sample contains outliers which pushes up (or down) the mean away from its mid-point (median).

Calculate the range and standard deviation

Once you have created your histogram, it may be useful to calculate the range and standard deviation for further analysis. Range is simply a measure of how widely dispersed your data is. It is calculated by subtracting the lowest value from the highest value in your data set and represents the difference between the most and least frequent values in your histogram. Standard deviation, on the other hand, measures how much variation there is from the average. It can help to identify outliers in a data set.

Calculating range and standard deviation in Excel is easy – all you need to do is use the Range and Stdev formulas found in Excel’s Statistical library, respectively. To find it, simply click on ‘Data’ on the ribbon at the top of your spreadsheet, followed by ‘Data Analysis’ under ‘Analysis Tools’ – this will open up a window with various statistics options including ‘Descriptive Statistics’. This will give you an overview of multiple statistical values such as mean, median and mode as well as range and standard deviation which can then be used to interpret your data more accurately.

Presenting the Chart

Creating a histogram in Excel is an easy way to present data in a visually appealing way. Once you have created the chart, you can present it to an audience with ease. A histogram is a popular way to represent data quickly, as it gives viewers a way to quickly understand the data.

This section will focus on the steps to create and present a histogram in Excel:

Save the chart as an image file

To save the chart you created in Excel as an image file, select File > Save As > Change file type and then choose an appropriate image format from the list. Although, it may vary depending on the version of Excel you are using, some common formats are PNG, JPG/JPEG, and GIF.

Note that these pictures can be uploaded to websites or imported into word processing documents, so they provide a convenient way to share data with others.

When exporting your chart as an image file, be sure to include the graph title in the filename for easy retrieval later on. This will help you keep track of what’s stored where. Additionally, make a record of any changes or edits that are made after exporting such as cropping or adding text components. This will ensure that no part of your hard work is lost or forgotten over time.

Insert the chart into a presentation or document

Once your chart is complete, you may have the need to embed it into a presentation or document. This can be done easily in Microsoft Excel by clicking on the chart, then selecting the “Copy” button from the “Home” ribbon. If you choose to use another program for your presentation or document creation, you can also right-click on the chart and select “Copy”.

Then, open the program of your choice and place the cursor where you would like the chart to appear. Go to the “Paste” option in Excel (or whatever other application you are using), and select either “Paste Options…” or “Paste Special…” Depending on your version of Excel, one of these will provide a drop-down menu featuring various paste options such as an image or objects link that can be used. For best results when pasting outside of Excel, it is usually recommended that users select image link as this preserves both aesthetic appearance and functionality with respect to data assignment versus a number format pasted straight from Excel itself.

You can also use save your histogram as a separate file which you can then insert into presentations and documents – saving any future changes that need to be made much easier. To save as a separate file; simply click on the histogram itself, go to File->Save As->Chart Object and select destination location for where it will be saved. You may have options time format ranging from .png .jpg .pdf .xps etc – but please note any animation or interactive feature might just convert to an image format making those features unavailable when copying a Chart object into another document/presentation whatsoever outside Blackboard Learn/Excel/Spreadsheets etc..

Export the chart to a PDF file

To export your histogram to a PDF file:

  1. Select (File > Export. Select the PDF format, give your file a name, and then choose where you would like to save it).
  2. Ensure that the “Selection Only” radio button is selected at the bottom of the page and click on Export.
  3. The histogram will be converted into a PDF and stored on your computer wherever you designated it to be saved.
  4. You can then open or print the PDF document as you prefer.