Box and Whisker

Excel 2016 featured a lot of new features. One of them were a couple of charts that were added. We are going to introduce you to one of the new added charts, the Box and Whisker plot.

Today we are going to teach you how to create it and use it.                 

What is a Box and Whisker chart?

The box and whisker plot presents the minimum, first quartile, medium, third quartile, and maximum values of a certain data set.

The boxes that have lines that are vertically extending are called "whiskers." Those lines indicate variability outside the upper and lower quartiles, a point that is not within those lines or a whisker is an outlier.

Box and whisker charts are usually used in statistical analysis. You can use them when you want to compare certain results, like test scores.

Box Plot Excel

How to create one?

The first thing you need to prepare is the data set, which you will want to present in a box and whisker chart.

You will need to:

  1. You need to select the entire data set that you want to present, and go to the "Insert" tab that is located on the ribbon.
  2. Then choose "Insert Statistic Chart" and select the "Box and Whisker".

How to customize it?

You can customize the chart exactly how you want. If you want to do it, select the chart and on the ribbon, two tabs will appear, "Design" and "Format".

There are some designs that you may like, but there are other options that will certainly help you edit your chart.

If you head right to the "Design" tab, you will find on the left side of the screen a section that is called "Add Chart Element".

If you click on it, you will have three options where you can choose to add a:

Chart Title - Here you can obviously set how the chart is going to be named.

Legend - And the legend, which just adds a legend to one side of the chart.

Horizontal and Vertical axis - Here you can change the size and format of both axis.

Box Plot Excel chart

Customizing options

To change the options for the box and whisker chart, you will have to:

  1. Right click one of the chart's boxes. When you select it, on the shortcut menu, click „Format Data Series"
  2. Then you will have everything that you will need to customize it

Gap width - This determines the gap width between the categories.

Show inner points - This shows the data points that are located between the lower whisker and the upper whisker line.

Show outlier points - This shows the outlier points that are located below the lower whisker or above the upper whisker line.

Show mean markers - It shows the mean marker.

Show mean line - It shows the line that connects the meanings of boxes in the selected series.

Quartile Calculation - Here you can choose two methods for median calculation:

  • Inclusive median - The median will be included in the calculation if the number of values in the data is odd.
  • Exclusive median - The median will be excluded from the calculation if the number of values in the data is odd.


The box and whisker chart is useful for visually summarizing variations in large datasets. It shows outliers and compares multiple distributions. One of the problems is that it doesn't show the multimodality of distributions. Some people may find the chart complicated, but it's actually pretty simple, which is also a big plus.