Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Creating a Chart.

Creating a Chart

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 3, 2016)

When you create a chart using Excel, the value within each cell that is being charted is converted to a datapoint, which is at the intersection of the X and Y axes for two-dimensional charts or the X, Y, and Z axes for three-dimensional charts. This datapoint can be expressed in any number of chart styles, including bars, columns, lines, and pie wedges.

The easiest way to create a chart is to use the Chart Wizard by following these steps:

  1. Select the data range to be charted, or select a single cell within the table you wish to chart. Don't include any summary or total information in the range. You will create the best charts when you work with raw data. You can select any headings, however.
  2. Click on the Chart Wizard tool to start the Chart Wizard. This displays the Chart Wizard dialog box, where you are asked to select a chart type.
  3. Select any of the 14 types shown in the Chart Type list. (You can always make changes later.) When you select a type, the information in the Chart Sub-type area of the dialog box is changed.
  4. Click on one of the Chart Sub-types shown at the right side of the dialog box.
  5. Click on Next. Excel proceeds to the second step of the ChartWizard, where your information is first presented as a chart.
  6. Make any necessary changes to the data range depicted in the dialog box, then click on Next. Excel displays the third step of the Chart Wizard.
  7. Using the controls in the dialog box, indicate the title, labels, and other formatting you want used for your chart. As you make changes, notice that the sample chart is updated to reflect your changes.
  8. When you are happy with your formatting settings, click on the Next button. Excel displays the final step of the ChartWizard. Here you select whether you want your chart embedded in your worksheet or to appear on its own, as a chart sheet.
  9. Click on Finish. Your chart is created as you directed.

You should note that these are general steps for using the Chart Wizard. It is possible that the steps may be modified a bit depending on the type of chart you choose to create.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2839) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Creating a Chart.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Deleting a Bookmark

Create a bookmark and you may, at some future point, need to delete that bookmark. It's easy to do, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Formatting All Headings At Once

If you need to apply a common formatting change to all the headings in your document, a quick way to do it is to use the ...

Discover More

Looking Backward through a Data Table

Sometimes you need to look backward, through the information above your formula, to find the data you need. This can be ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Identifying Scatter Plot Points

Do you want to add data labels to the data points in an xy graph? Excel doesn't provide a way to get the desired labels, ...

Discover More

Adding Text Boxes to Charts

Need to add a text box to your charting masterpiece? There are a couple of ways you can do so.

Discover More

Controlling Chart Gridlines

Gridlines are often added to charts to help improve the readability of the chart itself. Here's how you can control ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 4 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.