Whether you need to persuade consumers about a product or pitch your plan to a team of executives, Microsoft Excel is a powerful software solution that can help you visually convey complex information. Its charting capabilities allow you to present numerical data in a visual, easy-to-understand format.

Learn how to build these valuable visual aids and determine which chart is best suited for your presentation below.

Types of Charts in Excel

Types of Charts in Excel

There are several different chart styles available in Excel. The main options include:

  • Area: Area charts compare the immensity of a trend between at least two values over a period of time.
  • Line: Line charts perform a similar function to area charts, showing how data trends over time.
  • Bar: Bar charts provide a comparison of levels or variables based on the frequency of values.
  • Column: A column chart reveals how data shifts over a set time period.
  • Pie: Pie charts visually represent how values make up the percentages of a larger whole.
  • Radar: Radar charts reveal the relationships between multiple sets of data in aggregate.
  • Scatter: Scatter charts examine the numeric relationship between two variables.
  • Stock: Stock charts provide a visual representation of trends in stock prices across specific time periods.
  • Surface: Surface charts use a three-dimensional surface to plot multiple sets of values.

Steps to Building an Excel Chart

Though the precise methods vary based on the data type, there are a few primary steps to building an Excel chart:

  • Select the data you want for the chart
  • Select Insert and then click Recommended Charts
  • Under Recommended Charts, scroll through the suggested options, select your chart, and click OK
  • Use Chart Elements, Chart Styles, and Chart Filters to add elements, personalize components, or edit the data shown
  • Access additional features for formatting and design under the Chart Tools ribbon using the Design and Format tabs

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