How to Enter Data in Excel & Create a Graph

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If you have ever tried to read information from a spreadsheet, your eyes may have glazed over as you looked at long rows of numbers. Microsoft Excel addresses the eye-glazing problem by giving you the opportunity to convert your data into visual graphs, or what the Excel program calls "Charts." Pie charts, bar charts, scatter plots and line charts are a few of the options. You can take many different types of data and display them in charts as long as you enter it properly in the program and follow the chart-making process.

  • Enter and arrange the data you want in columns or rows on the spreadsheets.

  • Select the data you would like to put in your chart by clicking on one cell at the top and dragging your cursor across all of the numbers. They should all be highlighted. Be sure to include the titles of your columns like "Date" and "Average Temperature" if you want to include those titles in your chart.

  • Click the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window in the 2007 and 2010 versions and select the type of chart you want in the "Charts" group. As an example, if you are tracking data over time, you may want a bar chart or a line chart. You can experiment with different charts until you find the one that displays your data in the most relevant way.

References

  • Microsoft Office; Excel Help: Creating Charts; 2010
  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
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