Bar Chart

How to create and use a bar chart in Excel

Bar Chart

We have based most of our examples using column charts but there are a number of other charts. The first one we want to show you is something called a Bar Chart.

So here we are going to highlight the data, go Insert and you’ll see over here there is something called a Bar Chart – when I click on it, you’ll see it is basically a column chart put on its side. And there is a whole bunch of options that exist. Let’s do a standard one – and click on this and what you’ll see – it creates a chart that’s stands on its side with the axes are along here. Now in our experience bar charts often seem to come out in a format that we don’t necessarily like, so remember, what you can do – if that’s not looking appropriate – where you actually want the dates to be on one of the axes, you can come here and say switch row and column. Then maybe that’s a little better showing me each month and what’s happening.

The options available to you with the bar chart are very similar to what’s available to you with the column chart. You can work through each of these items and customize any part of it, so in a similar way to the column charts. So let’s right click on the axes, click there. All these items should look familiar. In this case we prefer not to have to read downwards, backwards so we don’t want to March, February, January but rather January, February, March. So in this case I’m going to put the categories in reverse order. You’ll see now that’s a bit more appropriate and the axes – I don’t want it to appear at the top, I want it to appear at the bottom and you’ll see over here the horizontal axes crosses. I am going to say please go to the maximum category and when I click you’ll see I have now got it down here.

All the other options are standard and its just a case of deciding what you want to change and it can be changed in a bar chart.