How to Create a Column Chart in Excel 2016

Need to create a column chart in Excel? In this post, I’m going to show you the steps needed in order to create a column chart in Excel 2016.

Excel 2016 offers additional features that you can use in order to create a fancy column chart.

To explore those features, we will review a simple example, where:

• You would like to display the status of tasks that you are currently tracking (perhaps as part of a project that you are currently working on…)

• You have the following data-set that will be used as an input in order to create your column chart in Excel:

Tasks Pending300
Tasks Ongoing500
Tasks Completed700

In the next section, we will review the steps you’ll need to take to create your desired column chart.

Steps to create a column chart in Excel 2016

(1) To start, you’ll need to copy, or type, the above data-set into Excel.

In our example, I chose to copy the data-set into the range of cells A3 to B5.

This is how your Excel spreadsheet would like like:

 

Dataset in Excel

 

(2) Now, you’ll need to highlight the data that will be used as an input for your column chart.

To do so, you’ll need to select the range of cells that contains the data-set you just copied or typed in Excel.

Here, select the range of cells A3 to B5. You’ll notice that the area you just selected is highlighted with green borders:

 

Data in MS Excel

 

(3) Press on the Insert tab, and then press on the icon that looks like a column chart (i.e., the ‘Insert Column or Bar Chart’ icon):

 

How to Create a Fancy Column Chart in Excel 2016

 

(4) From the drop-down menu that will now appear on your screen, select the type of chart that you’d like to display.

In our example, I chose the first 3-D Column chart. I personally like to display 3-D charts, but feel free to choose other types of charts from the drop-down menu…

 

Column Chart in Excel 2016 

 

(5) This is how your initial column chart would look like:

 

3D Column Chart in Excel 2016

 

In the next section, I’m going to show you the additional features that you can use to design your column chart…

Designing your column chart

Now let’s look at how you can design your column chart to fit your needs…

(1) The first thing that you can do is to change the chart style.

You can change the chart style by selecting your desired style from the Chart Styles section.

Here, I chose a chart style that has a dark background, but feel free to choose other styles that fit your taste.

This is how your column chart would look like with a style of a dark background:

 

Chart in MS Excel

 

(2) You can also change the title name for your chart (from the default name of “CHART TITLE”).

To change the title name, press on the default name CHART TITLE and then type your desired title.

Here, I typed the title name of TASKS STATUS:

 

CHART TITLE in MS EXCEL

Additional features to design your chart

Excel 2016 offers additional features to design your chart. Let’s explore some of them…

(1) First, click anywhere on the chart. You’ll notice that 3 icons will appear on the top right-hand-side of your chart:

 

Excel 2016 offers additional features to design your chart

 

(2) Let’s explore the icon that appears at the bottom, also known as the Chart Filters.

This is how your screen would look like once you press on the Chart Filters icon:

 

Chart Filters in Excel 2016

 

(3) You’ll now have the opportunity to control which categories to display on your chart.

Let’s say that you only want to display the categories of Tasks Pending and Tasks Ongoing (while omitting the category of Tasks Completed).

To accomplish this task, simply unchecked the box that corresponds to the category of Tasks Completed and then press Apply.

You will now notice that only the two categories, of Tasks Pending and Tasks Ongoing, are now displayed on your chart (while the category of Tasks Completed is no longer displayed):

 

3d Charts in MS Excel 2016

 

(4) Now let’s explore the middle icon, also known as the Chart Styles. 

Once you press on this icon, you’ll be presented with different chart styles that you can choose from (similar to the chart styles section that we saw earlier):

 

Chart Styles in Excel 2016

 

(5) Let’s pick the chart style with the blue background. Here is how your chart would look like:

 

Fancy charts in MS Excel

 

(6) Under the Chart Styles you can also choose different color schemes. Simply press on the Color option to choose your desired color scheme:

 

How to Create a Fancy Column Chart in Excel 2016

 

(7) For illustration purposes, I chose the color scheme of green by pressing on the below color scheme:

 

Color scheme - charts in Excel

 

(8) Finally, let’s look at the top icon which is also known as the Chart Elements.

Here, you can add additional elements to your chart, such as axis titles, legend, and so on…

To choose your desired chart elements, press on the Chart Elements icon, located at the top:

 

Chart Elements in Excel 2016

 

(9) In this example, I checked the box that corresponds to the option of adding a ‘Data Table’ at the bottom of the chart:

 

Data Table in Excel

 

Try to experiment with the different options and features that are offered by Excel 2016 to derive your ultimate chart!

You may also want to check the following source for additional tutorials on MS Excel.