A histogram displays the values of a frequency in a proportional
You're going to need some data to work with. Here's the data used
in the example below, which you can type into a blank worksheet:
Follow these steps to make
a really great looking histogram.
1. Select the range of cells that includes the data and include
the data labels. If you use the sample data above, select the
2. Click the Charts tab on the Ribbon.
3. In the Insert Chart group on the Riboon, click the Column
4. Choose any Clustered chart type. (If you're doing this for a
course, choose Clustered Column.)
5. Click once on any of the columns representing values. In this
example, values are represented by the taller columns. Little
round "handles" will appear on all of the columns to indicate they
are selected. Your chart should look something like this with the
Value columns selected:
6. Press the Delete key. The values no longer display and the
Frequency columns remain visible. Now your chart should look like
7. Now we need to put the proper values in the x-axis. From the
Chart menu choose Source Data. The Source Data dialog opens. If
you don't see the Chart option in the menu at the top of the page,
you clicked away from the chart. Click anywhere on your chart to
activate the Chart menu.
8. Note that the Category (X) axis labels field in the dialog is
blank. We need to fill this in. Click the little button to the
right of the empty field.
9. Drag over the cell range that has your values, but do not
include the data label. Then press the Return key. Using our
example, you would select the range B2:H2. Excel fills in the
dialog box for you.
10. Click the OK button to close the Source Data dialog box.
11. You can click on the Frequency label and press delete if you
want to tidy things up. Your finished chart will look about like
If you're making a histogram for
a course, your instructor may be anal-retentive. If
you're unfortunate enough to have one of these ultra-picky types,
you're not done yet. To make your teacher happy, in step 4 above
choose Clustered Column (it's the only chart type your teacher
will like), and then complete the steps as shown through step 11
above. Your chart will look like this after step 11:
To satisfy your teacher, you have to get rid of the gaps between
the columns. Here are the additional steps to take:
12. Click once on any of the columns so that they are all
13. Right-click on a column and choose Format Data Series from the
pop-up menu. The Format Data Series dialog will open.
14. In the Format Data Series dialog, in the left side click
15. In the Format Data Series dialog, on the right side change the
gap width to 0%
16. Click the OK button.
17. Drag the border of the chart to resize it if desired. Your
chart should now look like this:
If you really want to impress your teacher, click the Chart Format
tab of the Ribbon and play with the formatting options and chart
styles. Here's the same chart with one of the built-in chart