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 Venn Diagrams with Excel Data.

Creating Venn Diagrams with Excel Data

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 21, 2016)

Stuart wonders if there is a way to create Venn diagrams in Excel. He couldn't find it as a charting option in the program, but wondered if there was a possible workaround so that the Venn diagram works directly off data within a worksheet.

A Venn diagram is a type of chart that is often used in set theory—it shows different sets of data and how they relate to each other through intersecting portions of circles. A quick check in the types of charts that Excel can create shows Stuart is correct—there is no choice for creating a Venn diagram.

You can, however, approximate a Venn diagram using the tools that Excel provides. If you aren't too interested in accuracy, you can use the drawing tools in the program to draw circles, size and format them the way you want, and then overlap them as appropriate. You can then add text to the drawing to label the different parts of the diagram.

A more accurate representation can be gained by using a bubble chart (one of the chart types that Excel does provide) to graph the areas. All you need to do is calculate the data points that represent the center of each circle and that circle's size. For instance, you might end up with something like this for three circles in the diagram:

X-axis Y-axis Size
5.00 7.00 90
6.45 5.50 120
5.00 5.00 77

How you get your data into a format that is appropriate for a bubble chart depends (of course) on the characteristics of your data.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10843) 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 Venn Diagrams with Excel Data.

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

Inserting Footnotes Using Custom Footnote Marks

Automatic footnotes are easy to insert in Word documents. The default settings are usually fine for most projects. However, ...

Discover More

Disabling the F1 Key

Tired of hitting the F1 key by mistake and pulling up the Help system? Here's a couple of ways (one drastic and one not so ...

Discover More

Floating Information in a Frozen Row

You can freeze information in rows or columns using one of the built-in features of Excel. As you move up or down in the ...

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)

Locking Callouts to a Graph Location

If you add callouts using the drawing tools in Excel, you may have noticed that they don't always stay where you expect them ...

Discover More

Inserting Multiple Drawing Objects

When you need to add more than one of a particular drawing object to a worksheet, you can use the techniques described in ...

Discover More

Changing the Axis Scale

When creating a chart, you may want to adjust the default scaling that Excel applies to an axis. This is relatively easy to ...

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}] 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 7 + 6?

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.