How to Make a Histogram in Excel


Preparing Your Data

To create a histogram in Excel, you’ll need to first prepare your data in an appropriate way. You’ll need to make sure that the data is organized in a column with clear numerical values, and that it covers a certain range that you want to track.

After you’ve prepared your data, you’ll be able to make a histogram in Excel that can help you easily understand the frequency and distribution of your data.

Format your data in columns

Before you use Excel to create a histogram, your data should be organized as a list with each value in a separate column. If you have multiple data sets that are related and have the same scale (such as height and weight for a group of people), you can include all the values in the same list by using two columns. Label one column “Value” and put each of the values into that column. Label the second column whatever makes sense for your data set (such as “Height” or “Weight”).

When formatting your data, make sure to avoid creating blank rows or columns so that Excel will recognize all of it correctly. You may also need to adjust how many places appear after decimal points so that all your values fit into one or two columns instead of multiple columns. To do this, right-click on a cell and select Format Cells, then select Number > Number in the window that pops up. Make sure the Decimal Places field is filled out correctly.

Once all your data is formatted correctly, select the entire range for either one or both columns and then name it something descriptive at the top of each column . For instance, “Data” or “Height_and_Weight” depending on which type of list you have created. This will help Excel better understand which set you are working with when creating your histogram from this dataset later on in this guide.

Calculate the range of your data

Once you have your data, the next step to creating a histogram in Excel is to calculate the range of values. This represents the range of numbers that your data covers and is an important factor in determining how many bars are needed in your histogram. To calculate the range of values, simply subtract the minimum value from the maximum value. For example, if your highest data point is 10 and your lowest is 3, then you would subtract 3 from 10 to equal a range of 7.

You can also use Excel’s “Min” and “Max” functions in combination to find out what values are at either end of your dataset – just enter these formulas into adjacent cells:

  • =Min(A2:A20)
  • =Max(A2:A20)

Where A2:A20 indicates the cells containing your actual data.

Creating the Histogram

Creating a histogram in Excel is a great way to represent the frequency of data. It allows you to visualize the data set and display the distribution of the data in a visual format.

This tutorial will walk you through the steps to create a histogram in Excel. It will cover some of the basics such as:

  • Selecting the data
  • Setting up the bins
  • Formatting options for the histogram

Select your data

A histogram is a type of chart used to show the distribution, or frequency, of data. It is most commonly used for analyzing data that falls into groupings or bins and allows you to quickly understand the largest groupings of data and any outliers. Luckily, you can easily create a histogram in Excel.

  1. Select your data set by clicking and dragging it. Alternatively, if your data has headings in the first row you can click and drag the column heading letter instead. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + A (Windows) or Command + A (Mac).
  2. Once your selection is complete, click “Insert” on the ribbon. From there click “Insert Statistic Chart” then choose “Histogram.” If your selection contains labels in addition to values (in columns either side of your numerical data) ensure that “Chart Output” is selected from the dropdown menu on top of the pane before pressing OK.
  3. Finally, press OK and a histogram should appear. Depending on your version of Excel it may look slightly different but all essential features should still be available for you to analyze your results further.

Choose the Insert tab and select Histogram

In Microsoft Excel, creating a histogram is easy and efficient. Histograms are useful for visualizing the distribution of data in a set and can quickly reveal basic trends like averages or maxima. Here’s how to create a histogram in Excel (this example uses the latest version of the program):

  1. Open the data set that you would like to use in a new worksheet on Excel. It’s best to have your data set sorted from lowest to highest before starting.
  2. Click on the “Insert” tab located at the top of your worksheet, then select “Histogram” from the chart section of this tab. A dialog box will come up prompting you for information about your data set such as range and bin numbers for x-axis labels and frequency values for y-axis values. Fill out this information based on your data set accurately otherwise your graph might be missing important features or may not work correctly.
  3. Once you enter your information, click “OK” and your histogram will appear on an empty graph in Excel. You can customize it further by adding titles or labels as well as display different colors or sizes depending what kind of display is visually appealing to you or necessary for an assignment or presentation.

Choose the appropriate bin range

In creating a histogram in Excel, the first step is to determine your bin range. This is the range of data points that will fit into each group, or bin, in the histogram. For example, if you are analyzing salary data, your bin range might include $0-$10k, $10k-$20k, and so on. Each of these bins should include all values within the set range.

The suggested interval or size of your bin range will vary depending on the type of data you are analyzing. In general, however, it’s best to start with an interval size that divides evenly into your largest value and uses increments of 10 or 5 (e.g., $0-$10k). Once you have determined this initial size, you can increase or decrease the number and size of intervals as needed to properly display your dataset. If you find that some categories contain far more information than others (e.g., peaks) you may need to further divide those category ranges into additional bins for a more precise representation of the data at hand.

When determining a bin range for your histogram keep in mind that it should:

  • represent a meaningful granularity for comparing values;
  • include few empty categories and no more than 20 total categories per chart which helps ensure that the chart is clean and easily readable;
  • label each interval clearly so readers can easily interpret what is being shown on any given chart.

Customizing Your Histogram

Creating a histogram in Excel is a great way to visually represent data. Once you have created your histogram, you may want to customize it to make it more effective. Excel provides some great features to help you in this process, including changing colors, styles, titles, and labels, which can help you convey the message of your data more effectively.

In this section, we will go over how to customize a histogram in excel to make the most of your data visualization:

Change the chart type

If the basic histogram doesn’t give you the results you’re looking for, try changing the chart type. The options you have available depend on your version of Excel, but some common changes are from a column graph to a line graph or from a bar graph to an area graph.

To change the chart type of your histogram:

  1. Select the chart area of your histogram.
  2. Go to the Design tab on the ribbon menu and select Change Chart Type.
  3. A window will open with several different chart types available to use. Select one and click OK.
  4. Your new chart will be displayed in place of your histogram.

Adjust the bin width

When creating a histogram in Microsoft Excel, you have the option to customize the appearance of your graph by adjusting its bin width. The bin width will determine how wide each section of the graph is. This can be helpful in representing more complex data, as wider bins can be used to display more values within one section of the graph.

To adjust the bin width, go to the Chart Tools > Layout tab and click on ‘Format Selection’. Under ‘Chart Options’, find the ‘Bin Width’ option and change it as desired. Make sure to consider how changing the bin width will affect your data set; for example, narrower bins may result in more sections but less detail, and wider bins may result in fewer sections but with more detail included. Keeping this in mind can help you customize your histogram for clarity and accuracy.

Add axis labels

In addition to the title and data labels, your Excel histogram can also be customized with more information. The first step is to label both the X-axis and Y-axis with descriptive terms. The X-axis will typically hold whatever labels you used for your data points, followed by the unit of measurement for the range of values. The Y-Axis will contain numerical values from 1 to whatever fit your range best and their corresponding label scales such as “Frequencies” or “Percentages”.

After entering this information, you can select a font size for the axis labels that makes them easy to read without distracting from other parts of your chart.

Adding Finishing Touches

Once you have created your histogram, there are a few details that you can add to make it look even more professional. This includes adjusting the color, adding labels, and adding titles. Making these tweaks will ensure that your histogram looks perfect and conveys the information clearly and accurately.

Now let’s go over how to make these finishing touches:

Add a title to your chart

The final step in creating a histogram in Excel is to add a title. A title adds clarity and context to your chart and helps viewers understand the reason for its creation. Titles should usually be positioned above the chart, but you can also place titles along the x-axis or set them off to one side if space is limited.

Before adding a title, it’s important to consider who your audience is and how they will use the information in your chart. This will inform the type of language you use and the message you are trying to convey. Be sure to keep your titles short, clear, and direct so that viewers can quickly grasp their meaning.

To add a title:

  1. Select Insert from the tabs at the top of Excel.
  2. Go to Chart Elements from this menu, select Chart Title from the drop down list and choose whether you want your title Above Chart or Centered Overlay Title.
  3. Type in your chosen title into the text box that appears next to Label Options on this window and hit Enter for it to apply changes onto your Histogram chart in Excel!

Add a legend

The legend provides a reference for your histogram’s meaning and helps others understand what each bar of the graph is representing. Adding a legend to your Excel histogram only takes a few clicks!

To create a legend, click on the “Insert” tab at the top of the Excel spreadsheet. Then, scroll down to the bottom to select “Legend.” A box will appear over your graph with several options for labeling and positioning the legend. Once you have all of the desired information included, click “OK” and it will be displayed with your histogram.

You may want additional text compiled around or underneath your graph to give further context and clarification. To add this kind of annotation in an Excel spreadsheet, simply select the heading or row you wish to annotate – then use color coding or text boxes as labels! This makes it easy for readers identify particular bars in your histogram with ease.

Change the color scheme

In Excel, you can customize the look of a histogram with a variety of color schemes. This can be a great way to draw attention to specific components of data or to make the visualization more aesthetically pleasing. Changing the color scheme is easy; all you need to do is right-click on one of the bars and go to Format Data Series.

In this window there are several options for changing your histogram’s color palette, including Preset, Standard, and Custom. The Preset option allows you to choose from several predetermined combinations, while Standard and Custom offer more control over individual colors and hues. There is also an option for Marker type that lets you customize markers within each bar as needed.

Once you’ve made your selection, click OK and observe the changes in your graph! Keep in mind that all of these settings can be changed at any time if you want to experiment with different looks. With some creativity, it’s easy to transform a basic chart into an informative visualization tool.