How to Create Bubble Chart in Excel with 3 Variables

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Typical Excel Charts depict a two-dimensional (X and Y) representation of data. Working with three-dimensional or 3 variables requires the insertion of a bubble chart into Excel. The third variable is the size of the bubbles. The other two variables are the traditional X and Y coordinates. In this article, we demonstrate the step-by-step procedure to create bubble chart Excel 3 variables.

Bubble Chart Excel 3 Variables

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Download the attached dataset to better understand the steps.

Step-by-Step Procedures to Make a Bubble Chart in Excel with 3 Variables

Go through the following steps to create a bubble chart with 3 variables in Excel. Firstly, we will prepare our dataset. Then, we will insert a Bubble Chart. Afterward, we will modify the Bubble Chart with 3 variables.

Step 1: Preparing a Dataset to Create a Bubble Chart

As you are aware of the fact that bubble charts can visualize 3-dimensional data, and the dataset must contain 3 variables. The following picture depicts Project Details with Cost, Profit, and Profit Rate variables.

Dataset for Bubble Chart Excel 3 Variables

Read More: How to Create Bubble Chart with 2 Variables in Excel

Step 2: Inserting a Bubble Chart

In the Insert tab, Excel offers 2 types of bubble charts: Bubble and 3-D Bubble. You can choose any of them to insert a bubble chart with 3 variables.

  • Go to the Insert tab then click on Insert Scatter inside the Charts.
  • Choose Bubble under Bubble.

Read More: 3 Suitable Examples of Bubble Chart in Excel

Step 3: Modifying the Bubble Chart

After clicking on the Bubble in the Insert Scatter options, Excel inserts a bubble chart as displayed in the below picture. However, the inserted chart needs modifications.

Bubble Chart Excel 3 Variables

Step 3.1: Formatting X-Axis

  • To custom format, the X-Axis of the chart, select the axis then right-click on it. The Context Menu.
  • Click on Format Axis.
  • In the Axis Options, set Minimum and Maximum X-Axis Bounds as shown in the latter image.

Step 3.2: Displaying Data Labels from Cells

  • Click on the Chart. The Chart Elements (Plus Icon) appear.
  • Tick preferable chart elements such as Axes, Axis Titles, or Chart Title.
  • Click Data Labels > More Options.
  • The Format Data Labels dialog box appears.
  • Mark the Value From Cells.

  • Instantly, Excel fetched the Data Label Range dialog box. Assign the range (i.e., Profit Rate) then click OK.

Step 3.3: Coloring the Bubbles

  • Now, click on any bubble to select all of them. Afterward, right-click the Context Menu.
  • Choose Format Data Series.
  • In the Fill option, tick Vary colors by point to multi-color the bubble.

Step 3.4: Displaying Chart in a Particular Style

  • Click on the chart and the Chart Design tab appears.
  • Choose any Chart Designs from the Chart Styles to depict the chart in it.

  • The final visualization of the chart may look like the below image.

Bubble Chart Excel 3 Variables

⧭ Notes: (i) Highlight two data columns to create a bubble chart with two variables.

             (ii) Use individual data series and denote them using Legends to create a bubble chart with 4 variables.

Read More: How to Color Excel Bubble Chart Based on Value (2 Easy Methods)

Things to Keep in Mind

  • Make sure the bubble sizes are proportional to their values. However, Excel usually auto-fit bubble sizes corresponding to their values. In case Excel doesn’t do it, adjust the data to fit using Square Root of the raw data.


This article discusses the step-by-step procedures to create bubble charts with 3 variables in Excel. Comment if you need further clarification or have anything to add.

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Maruf Islam
Maruf Islam

My self, Maruf Islam, an engineer and Excel & VBA Content developer on Exceldemy. I enjoy solving problems, finding workable solutions, and most of the part I really like to take on challenges. On Exceldemy I write articles discussing various way outs of Microsoft Excel's stuck ons.

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