Excel Tool: 4 Easy-to-Follow Tips To Help You Create Your Graphs

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Excel Tool: 4 Easy-to-Follow Tips To Help You Create Your Graphs


Learn how to graph in Excel with these 4 easy-to-follow tips from Venngage! We'll walk you through everything, from graph maker design and chart maker type selection to graph formatting and what the different graph types mean. And if you're not sure where to start, we've also included a template for your convenience!

Where to find graph templates?
The good news is that there are TONS of graph templates available. The awful news… they're usually buried! You'll see a drop-down box that lists different graph types. Each graph type will have its own set of default settings for things like axis display, data labels, etc., so you won't be able to customize them as much as custom graphs. To help with this problem, Venngage has created an Excel template for making your very own customizable graphs! You can access it here.

What chart type should I use?
When it comes to picking the proper visual representation of your data, Venngage has more than 20 different types of charts, including bar graphs, pie charts, histograms, and lots more.

Here are some examples:

Column graph - a column graph is a graph that charts data in vertical columns.
Line graph - a line graph is used to show changes in data over time.


Area graph - an area graph stacks multiple series on top of each other (think columns stacked on top of one another). These are useful for showing total or averaged data across several categories.


Bar graph - a bar graph is used when you have categories that are broken into groups. It's great for showing the difference between values in each category.
Pie graph - a pie graph shows how different attributes contribute to a whole quantity and can help us better understand proportional relationships.


Histogram - histograms display statistical data with bars on the x-axis of varying heights representing frequencies or relative quantities of observations within subgroups of data points referred to as bins which break the overall distribution down by parts. This type of graph can show either quantitative variables (such as sales figures) or qualitative variables (such as gender). Use it when you want to look at distributions! A good example use case might be looking at voter preferences in an election with only two candidates.


Boxplot graph - boxplots show five critical values for a given dataset: the minimum and maximum, along with the first quartile (Q_25), median (Q_50), and third quartile(Q_75). Use this graph chart when you want to compare multiple datasets side by side!


Scatter graph - scatter graphs or scatter charts are used when we have one quantitative variable plotted on the x-axis and another quantitative variable plotted on the y-axis. They're also great at showing the correlation between attributes since they can be overlaid onto each other. After all, if there is no relationship, it would make sense that points should fall randomly on the graph!


Bubble graph - bubble graphs are used when two or more quantitative variables are plotted in x and y axes. They work incredibly well for comparing values with each other since bubbles are scaled by area rather than length (like scatter plots). Use these to compare groups of three or more attributes together.
While some may be better suited for specific data sets over others (like scatter plots vs line graphs), in general, you want to pick a visualization that conveys your message without too much noise or distraction.

What graph type should I use?
When you're looking at something that more or less fits into a normal distribution (bell curve) like voter preferences in an election, use either a line graph or bar graph. If the data has outliers, then utilizing a boxplot graph can help see where these values are coming from and how many there are without having too much noise to distract from your story.

Scatter graphs can be helpful when two variables have different units of measurement but still show some sort of relationship between them - for example, if we wanted to look at weight vs height across various people. The size of each bubble would represent the person's weight, while the x-axis could represent their height, so it becomes to see which ones correlate well with each other.

In general, when it comes to picking the proper visual representation of your data, Venngage has more than 20 different types of graphs, including bar graphs and pie chart makers. You want to choose a visualization that effectively conveys your message without getting muddled up with other elements.

How do I graph in Excel?


Now that you've picked out a graph template and selected the right graph type, it's time to get started! We've put together a graph template for you to use as well– all you have to do is download it, open the spreadsheet in Excel 2010 or higher, and follow along!

Steps to graph in Excel:
- Open Venngage spreadsheet template.
- Click on graph to edit.
- Edit graph title, data labels, and legend if desired.
- Insert data into highlighted cells. Make sure the headers match up with the graph type you're using!
- Select the graph and click "Insert." We've preselected all of your graph variables for you but if any other settings need customizing, feel free to do so now or after inserting them onto your slide.
- If your graph doesn't look right, play with the graph's formatting options.
- Insert graph anywhere on the slide.
- Save and download the graph to your computer!

Create graphs with Venngage now!
Many graph types can be used in the general context of data visualization. It is essential to consider which graph type suits your needs best when looking at a specific dataset. However, there are some general rules of thumb, such as using boxplots for datasets with outliers and scatter plots if two variables have different units but still show a relationship between them like weight vs height.

There's no need to get overwhelmed by Excel graph templates or other graph options; Venngage graph maker has made this process more accessible than ever!

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