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# Creating a simple graph (using Excel)

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This tutorial shows you how you can create a simple bar or line graph using Excel.

Three examples of data sets are used.

The first is the test results for a class, the second is the average test score for all classes within a cohort, and the third is the average attendance data for a school over one academic year.

To practise making graphs you can download the data sheet below as an Excel spreadsheet.

e-asTTle converted tabular report (Excel 27 KB)

Creating a simple graph (using Excel)

This tutorial will show you how you can create a simple bar or line graph in Excel.

Three examples of data sets are used.

The first is the test results for a class, the second is the average test score for all classes within a cohort, and the third is the average attendance data for a school over one academic year.

In order to create a graph or class average scores, place the cursor in the cell below the column of scores and in the formulas menu, select the arrow to the right of AutoSum.

Select the option “Average” to work out the average of all the scores.

Excel will now automatically select the data it is going to work out the average for.

Press enter to confirm that the selection is correct.

You will now see the average for all students in the class.

This second example shows the average scores for all classes within a cohort of a school.

We now wish to create a bar graph of this data.

To start, select the cells that contain the data, that is, the class data and the average score data, including the header cells. You should be careful not to select any empty cells below the data.

Now from the insert menu, select “Column” from the chart’s sub menu and select the first option.

This will instantly create a simple bar graph.

You can now modify your bar graph and try different styles from the design menu. For example, you may wish to make the graph bigger.

To do this, simply drag the corner of the graph to the size you want.

You can also give the graph a title by clicking on the title, highlighting the text, and overwriting it with your own title.

To try out different formatting options in Excel 2010, select different options from within the design toolbar.

If you are in Excel 2007, right click on the bar and select format data series, or select format menu to select the different options.

If you’re in Excel 2010, you can double click on elements of the graph to bring up the formatting options. For example, you may wish to change the “Fill” characteristics of the bars.

Your bar graph is now ready to use.

You can move the graph within the spreadsheet, or you can copy it into a Microsoft Word report by using copy and paste options.

You can use the same method to create a line graph.

Using the attendance data in the example, again, select the data you wish to graph. From the “Insert” menu, select “Line” from the chart’s sub menu.

If you select the first option for example, Excel will create a line graph instantly.

You can then refine the graph in the same way as was done in the bar graph example.