How to Add Standard Deviation Error Bars in Excel

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A graph’s error bar is a line drawn through a point that is parallel to any of the axis that depicts the degree of uncertainty or variance in the point’s corresponding coordinate. On the other hand, the standard deviation means the variation that occurs in the statistics. When the standard deviation is low, the data points lead to being extremely close to the mean, and when it is high, the data are dispersed over a wide range of values. You can show standard deviation error bars in the form of a chart in Excel. In this article, we are going to show the steps to generate the standard deviation error bars in Excel. So, let’s get started.


Add Standard Deviation Error Bars in Excel: Step-By-Step Procedures

There are a few simple steps from which you can show the Standard Deviation Error bars in Excel. We have demonstrated the steps to you for better visualization.

Not to mention, we have used the Microsoft Excel 365 version. You may use any other version at your convenience.


Step 01: Input a Dataset with Necessary Components

  • Firstly, you need to insert a dataset that will be populated with the necessary components. We have taken a dataset of Year-wise Sales of XYZ Company.

Input a Dataset with Necessary Components to show standard deviation error bars in excel


Step 02: Calculate Standard Deviation

  • Moreover, you can calculate the standard deviation of your dataset by the STDEV.S function.
  • For this, firstly, go to cell C11 and write up the formula.

=STDEV.S(C5:C10)

The above syntax finds the standard deviation of cell range C5:C10.

Calculate Standard Deviation with STDEV.S Function to show error bars in excel


Step 03: Insert Bar Chart

  • Eventually, select cell B4 after removing the column header.
  • Navigate to the Insert tab >> choose Insert Column or Bar Chart >>pick Clustered Column.

Insert Bar Chart to show standard deviation error bars in excel

Consequently, it will create a bar chart with multiple bars like the image below.


Step 04: Plot Error Bars to Show Standard Deviation

  • Subsequently, select the plot area. Click on the ➕ (plus sign) which represents the Chart Elements. Check the Error Bar and choose Standard Deviation.

Plot Error Bars to Show Standard Deviation in excel

Finally, you will get the chart with the standard deviation error bars.


Step 05: Customize Error Bars

  • At this stage, you need to customize the error bars. Click on any error bar and apparently, Format Error Bars appear.
  • However, choose the Custom command in the Error Amount option and select the Specify Value.

Customize Error Bars

  • Eventually, the Custom Error Bars window appears. Put the Positive and Negative Error Value to 20.
  • Lastly, hit OK.

Custom Error Bars window

Finally, you will get the standard deviation error bars like the image below.

READ MORE: How to Add Individual Error Bars in Excel


Practice Section

We have provided a practice section on each sheet on the right side for your practice. Please do it by yourself.

Practice Section


Download Practice Workbook

Download the following practice workbook. It will help you to realize the topic more clearly.


Conclusion

That’s all about today’s session. These are some easy steps to show standard deviation error bars in Excel. Please let us know in the comments section if you have any questions or suggestions. For a better understanding, please download the practice sheet.


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<< Go Back To Error Bars in Excel | Excel Chart Elements | Excel Charts | Learn Excel

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Fahim Shahriyar Dipto
Fahim Shahriyar Dipto

Fahim Shahriyar Dipto is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering at BUET. With over 1.5 years of experience at Exceldemy, he authored 70+ articles on ExcelDemy. He has expertise in designing worksheets at You’ve Got This Math. Currently, He is a Team Leader at Brainor. Dipto's passion extends to exploring various aspects of Excel. Beyond tech, he enjoys creating engaging kids' worksheets using Illustrator. A dedicated employee and innovative content developer, He incorporates a commitment to academic excellence and... Read Full Bio

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