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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 15, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Better Use of Heading Space

If your column headings are too large to work well in your worksheet, why not turn them a bit? Here's how.

Discover More

Sorting by Five Columns

Excel allows you to sort but up to three columns, but you may want to sort by more than that. This tip provides ways you ...

Discover More

Converting to Hyperlinks in a Shared Workbook

When you enter a URL or e-mail address in a worksheet, Excel usually converts it to a clickable hyperlink. This doesn't ...

Discover More

Solve Real Business Problems Master business modeling and analysis techniques with Excel and transform data into bottom-line results. This hands-on, scenario-focused guide shows you how to use the latest Excel tools to integrate data from multiple tables. Check out Microsoft Excel 2013 Data Analysis and Business Modeling today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Labeling X-Y Scatter Plots

Figuring out how to get the data points in an X-Y scatter plot labeled can be confusing; Excel certainly doesn't make it ...

Discover More

Selecting Fonts for a Chart

When formatting a chart, you might want to change the characteristics of the font used in various chart elements. This ...

Discover More

Negatives in Pie Charts

Pie charts are a great way to graphically display some types of data. Displaying negative values is not so great in pie ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 one less than 7?

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
Subscribe

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.