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How to Create a Histogram in Excel

In this lesson, you will learn what a histogram chart is and how to plot one.

Creating a Histogram in Excel

The Histogram and the Pareto Diagram are two types of charts connected with quality management that can be created in Excel. A histogram chart is a specialized column chart used to represent the frequency or occurrence of a particular characteristic within a range of values.

A sample histogram looks like this:

Begin with a dataset that you want to analyze. For example, let’s consider exam scores as shown below:

The main principles for creating a histogram are:

First, delete the legend as it will not be needed.

Then you remove the spaces between the columns. Just right click on the column and choose ‘Format Data Series’. A dialog box appears, where you choose ‘No gap’.

Once the basic histogram is created, it can be customized to improve clarity and visual appeal. Adjust colors and styles to enhance readability according to your preference, accessible through the ‘Chart Styles’ options.

In addition, you must add the data series. The finished sample histogram looks like this:

Creating a Histogram using Data Analysis Toolpak add-in

Alternatively, you can use Excel’s Data Analysis ToolPak add-in to create a histogram more efficiently:

  1. Install ToolPak: If you haven’t already, enable the Data Analysis ToolPak add-in in Excel.
  2. Access Data Analysis: Click the “Data” tab on the ribbon and select “Data Analysis” in the Analysis group.
  3. Choose Histogram: In the Data Analysis dialog box, choose “Histogram” and click “Ok”.

Fill in the input range with your data, specify the bin range, and select “Chart Output”.

Excel will generate the histogram chart automatically.

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