How to Make a Histogram in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

As a marketer, I love data. But let's be honest: data can be overwhelming. Rows and columns of numbers can make your eyes glaze over. That's why I love visualizations, and one of my favorites is the histogram.

A histogram is a chart that shows the distribution of data in a set. It's like a bar chart, but instead of showing individual values, it shows ranges of values, or bins. If you're not sure what I'm talking about, don't worry. By the end of this article, you'll be a histogram pro.

Step 1: Gather Your Data

The first step in creating a histogram is to gather your data. This could be anything from sales figures to survey responses. For this example, let's say we're analyzing the ages of customers who made a purchase from our online store.

Here are the ages we collected:

27, 32, 45, 38, 41, 30, 29, 36, 43, 26, 29, 34, 31, 24, 30, 38, 29, 22, 44, 40

For Excel to create a histogram, you need to arrange the data in two columns. The first column should contain the data you want to analyze (in this case, the ages). The second column should contain the bin values, or intervals, you want to use.

For our example, let's use a bin width of 10. That means our first bin will be 20-29, our second bin will be 30-39, and so on. Here's what our two columns should look like:

Age Bin
27 20-29
32 30-39
45 40-49
38 30-39
41 40-49
30 30-39
29 20-29
36 30-39
43 40-49
26 20-29
29 20-29
34 30-39
31 30-39
24 20-29
30 30-39
38 30-39
29 20-29
22 20-29
44 40-49
40 40-49

Step 2: Create the Histogram

Now that we have our data arranged, it's time to create the histogram. Here's how:

  1. Select the two columns of data.
  2. Click the "Insert" tab on the ribbon.
  3. Click the "Statistical Chart" button in the "Charts" group.
  4. Select "Histogram" from the drop-down menu.
  5. Choose the "Bin Width" option and enter "10" (or whatever bin width you want to use).
  6. Click "OK."

And that's it! Excel will create a histogram that looks something like this:

In our example, you can see that most of our customers are in their 20s and 30s, with fewer in their 40s. This can help us tailor our marketing efforts to better reach our target audience.

Customizing Your Histogram

This is just a basic example, but you can customize your histogram in a variety of ways. Here are a few tips:

  • To change the colors of the bars, click on a bar to select it, then right-click and choose "Format Data Series." From there, you can choose a new color.
  • To change the title of the histogram, click on it to select it, then click on the text box next to "Chart Title" in the ribbon.
  • To add axis labels, click on the chart to select it, then click on the "Layout" tab in the ribbon. From there, you can add a title for the X-axis (which will be our bin values) and the Y-axis (which will be the frequency of each bin).
  • To change the bin width or the number of bins, you can go back to the "Histogram" button in the ribbon and choose "More Histogram Options." From there, you can specify the number of bins or adjust the bin width.


Histograms are a powerful tool for visualizing data and understanding the distribution of a set. With Excel, creating a histogram is easy and customizable. Whether you're analyzing sales figures or survey responses, a histogram can help you make sense of your data and make better decisions for your business.

I hope this guide was helpful. If you have any questions or tips for customizing histograms in Excel, feel free to share them in the comments!

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