How To Create A Bar Chart Or Column Chart In Excel

In this Article, we’ll show you how you can create a bar chart or column chart in excel to make things accessible and easy for you. No matter what kind of data you have, a well-crafted chart like bar charts will help in sharing the information in a clear way to your audience.

First, what is a Bar Graph?

A bar graph is a virtual representation of data that show horizontal bars along with the axis values for the bars that are displayed at the bottom of the complete graph. You can call it a graphical object that represents data in the excel sheet. You can use this graph when you want:

  • To compare the values of different categories
  • To show the duration of the show in the graph
  • And when the category text is very long and doesn’t fit the column chart.

Here Are Steps To Create A Bar Chart:

To simply create a bar chart in Excel, you need to follow the below steps:

  • Highlight the things/data that you want to use in the bar chart.
  • Now select the Insert tab from the toolbar (see the top of the screen) and click on the Bar Chart Table button. You can find this button in the Chart Group and then choose the chart of your choice from the drop-down. You can select any bar chart like a clustered bar chart or anything of your choice. If you don’t know which bar chart would be an appropriate choice, you can simply hover to the options and see the preview of the highlighted chart format.
  • Once done, you will see that the bar chart will come in your spreadsheet with various different shapes to represent the both restock time and shelf life of the product. The shell life, often displayed in dates, is shown in the orange horizontal bar, while the restock time, also displayed in dates, is shown as a blue horizontal bar. You can easily see the axis value at the bottom of the horizontal bars.
  • Lastly, you can update the values or titles in the bar chart.
  • If you want to change the title, you can simply click on the “Chart Title” at the top of the graph. Here you will see that the title will become editable, and you can name anything to it.

That’s it! You have successfully created your first bar graph in Excel.

How To Format The Bar/Column Chart:

Now that you have created your bar chart examples, you might have observed that there are default colors selected. You can change the layout and colors to make it more appealing. The colors will also help you identify values when you have to use more than ten values in the chart.

Let’s see how you can change the colors and layout:

One of the best ways to do this is by using the Change Color Button in the Design tab. Here you can choose the color and theme that you want to display on your column chart.  You can also select the bars from the chart and then click the Format Tab to fill the color.

Alternatively, you can also try the Shape Fill and Shape Outline Buttons to alter the shape and color of your bars. Besides, you can also edit the bar chart title. The title will appear at the formula bar.

Bar charts are made of various different elements; the simple one consists of two axis, one data series(having five series altogether), plot area, chart area, and gridlines. They neither are nor just limited to these items only; you can add more from the Formatting area of the chart elements.

Simply click on the Format tab and select the chart element from the list. Once done, click on the Format Selection.  There are many formatting options, for instance, you can change the color, gap width, and more with ease.

How To Add Or Remove The Column Charts:

One of the unique things about a column chart is that it’s very simple to create and has a plethora of options to make changes. You can add or remove a number of different elements from it.

Let’s start by removing the gridlines and the value from the vertical axis. One simple way of doing this is by removing the primary vertical axis and the gridlines from the chart. You can also do this by selecting the elements of the chart and pressing the Delete key from the keyboard.

You will also see a list of chart elements; uncheck them and then position the mouse on the Axes. Once done, click on the arrow and uncheck the Primary Vertical Axis.

How To Create A Bar/Column Chart With Multiple Series Of Data:

Let’s assume you have five different series from a store of different locations. Just like you did in the single chart creation, click Insert? Insert Column or Bar Chart? Clustered column and add the values. This way, you will have a column with all values. Since you have added five different values, you may seem the graph a bit busier as there will be 15 different columns. However, you can make improvements and formatting to differentiate things and to make them look understandable.

How To Make A Stacked Column Chart?

Unlike traditional bar charts with clustered columns, they create stacked columns with different data. You can use them to compare sales from various stores and data from different fields. It is a column for every department with sales and profits placed at the top of the graph. You can even reverse it by simply clicking on the Switch Row/Column button from the Design tab. Stacked columns also help in differentiating data with similar values.


Bar or Column charts are simple to make in Excel. Also, they are effective, clear, concise, and easy to understand. They show the précised values of data in various situations. The above-mentioned tips will help you create the bar chart and will also help you perform them with your practical values. Try making one and present your data in a simple and understandable manner.