How to Create Graphs in Excel with Multiple Columns

by Emma Hurley

Spreadsheets are a way of arranging and analyzing numerical data. Once the raw data has been organized, it can be turned into charts with a few clicks. A graph can summarize large amounts of information and demonstrate trends instantly. A stacked chart shows each series divided into multiple columns and can be displayed numerically or in percentages. The most commonly used stacked chart is a column; for this example a 2-D stacked chart will be used.


Enter the data for the desired chart into an Excel spreadsheet. Title any columns or rows as required.


Highlight all data you wish to include in the chart. To highlight cells, click your mouse, and while holding down, drag it to include all desired information.


Click the "Insert" tab, and in the charts group, click "Column." Select the 2-D stacked column chart and it will be generated automatically.


Edit the layout and style of the chart, label the various components and edit the size of the chart by clicking on the chart to generate a chart tools tab with three sub-tabs of design, layout and format.


Save your work by clicking "File" then "Save As" and a window pops up. Insert a name for the file and click "Save."


  • This information is specific to Microsoft Excel 2010, but the principles can be used in other spreadsheet programs.
  • Take time to experiment with the different graphs to ensure you have selected the most appropriate one.
  • Save your work often.

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About the Author

Based in London, Emma Hurley has been writing step-by-step computer guides since 2008. She has worked for an international food manufacturer as a financial analyst, and obtained a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from the University of Southampton.

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