How to Make a Bar Graph With Microsoft Word

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Enhance your Microsoft Word documents and present the data professionally by using bar charts. If Excel is installed on your computer, Word takes advantage of its charting capabilities to create complex graphs. If you didn't install Excel, you can still create charts in Word by using the built-in Microsoft Graph utility.

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Tip

  • Microsoft Word can create other types of charts as well — most notably column, line, pie, area and scatter charts.

Making a Bar Graph With Microsoft Excel Installed

Step 1

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Open the Word document or create a new one by pressing Ctrl-N and then selecting a template.

Switch to the Insert tab and click the Chart button in the Illustrations group to open the Insert Chart dialog.

Step 2

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Select the Bar option from the left pane and then choose one of the bar charts in the right pane. A preview of the chart appears below the list of bar graph styles. Click OK to insert the chart.

Tip

    • The first three chart styles are two-dimensional charts; the last three are 3D charts.
    • Mouse over the preview of the chart to view a larger version. 

Step 3

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

The Chart In Microsoft Word window — a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet — displays when you insert a new chart if you have Microsoft Excel installed on your computer.

Change the data in the Categories and Series rows and columns and replace it with your own data. You can add or delete rows and columns; the changes are reflected in the Word chart.

Close the Chart In Microsoft Word window after you finish editing the chart.

Step 4

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Customize the chart in Microsoft Word by changing its title and changing the font, font size, and font style of its elements — the legend and the axis labels. To customize an element, click it and then use the tools in the Font group on the Home tab.

To further customize the chart, use the tools in the Design and Format tabs that appear under Chart Tools when the chart is selected.

Tip

  • Save the changes to the Word document by pressing Ctrl-S. Save your work frequently to avoid losing it if the software or operating system crashes. Microsoft Word automatically saves the document every 10 minutes by default.

Making a Bar Graph With Microsoft Graph

Step 1

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Open the document in Microsoft Word, switch to the Insert tab and then click the Chart button in the Illustrations group. A default chart is inserted into the document and the Microsoft Graph datasheet is displayed below it.

Step 2

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Change the chart type to a bar graph by clicking on the default chart to select it, clicking the Chart Type button and selecting the Bar Chart option from the menu.

Step 3

(Image: Image courtesy of Microsoft)

Input the chart data into the datasheet dialog. The changes are reflected in the chart as you make them.

Click anywhere outside the chart to switch back to the default Microsoft Word view. You can return to Microsoft Chart view by double-clicking the slide in the document.

Tip

    • To change various chart options — titles, axes, gridlines and legend, for example — click Chart and select Chart Options to display the Chart Options dialog.
    • To customize the chart and change its colors, borders, effects and fonts, click Format and select Selected Chart Area.
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