How to Create Bar Chart with Multiple Categories in Excel

STEP 1 – Create Dataset for Bar Chart with Multiple Categories

  • Create a dataset for the bar chart that includes categories, sub-categories, and items in three separate columns.
  • In the sample box, we have included a category column Product Type, sub-categories column Product, and items column Quantity.

excel bar chart with multiple categories

Note: Leave 2 blank rows in between each category and insert a space in the first empty cell of the blank row for better visualization of the chart.

Read More: How to Ignore Blank Cells in Excel Bar Chart

STEP 2 – Create Bar Chart Using Insert Tab of Excel

  • Select the whole dataset to create a bar chart with it.

Create Bar Chart Using Insert Tab of Excel

  • Go to the Insert tab and select Insert Column or Bar Chart > 2-D Bar > Clustered Bar.

  • A bar chart with multiple categories is created in the worksheet.
  • Double-click on the chart title and give it a name.

Read More: How to Make a Stacked Bar Chart in Excel

STEP 3 – Give Different Colors to Bar Chart

  • Click the chart. It will select all the chart items.
  • Click on a single item and it will be selected as shown in the image

Give Different Colors to Bar Chart

  • Go to the Format tab and select a color from the Shape Fill option.

  • Follow the same steps for different colors to items from different categories.

excel bar chart with multiple categories output

Read More: How to Color Bar Chart by Category in Excel

STEP 4 – Do Some Additional Formatting

  • Select the bar chart.
  • From the upper right corner of the chart select Chart Elements.
  • Select Data Labels. It will attach data labels to the chart elements.
  • Unselect Gridlines and the gridlines from the graph will vanish.

Do Some Additional Formatting

  • Double-click on the chart.
  • The Format Chart Area pane will appear.
  • Select Border from the pane. You can choose the borderline type from here.
  • In the sample image, we selected Solid Line. Different colors and line widths for the border line can be chosen from this section.

Final Output

Following all the steps given, the bar chart graph with multiple categories will look like the following sample image below.

excel bar chart with multiple categories final output

Read More: How to Create Stacked Bar Chart for Multiple Series in Excel

How to Convert Bar Chart to Column Chart in Excel

  • Create a bar chart following the steps given in the previous section.
  • Right-click on the bar chart.
  • Select Change Chart Type.

  • The Change Chart Type window will appear.
  • Select Column Clustered Column from the window.
  • Press OK.

  • The bar chart will convert to a column chart with multiple categories as in the image given below.

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Mehedi Hasan Shimul
Mehedi Hasan Shimul

Md. Mehedi Hasan, with a BSc in Electrical & Electronic Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, holds a crucial position as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at ExcelDemy. Driven by a deep passion for research and innovation, he actively immerses himself in Excel. In his role, Mehedi not only skillfully addresses complex challenges but also exhibits enthusiasm and expertise in gracefully navigating tough situations, emphasizing his steadfast commitment to consistently deliver exceptional and quality content.... Read Full Bio

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