How to Add Standard Deviation Error Bars in Excel

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.

Download Practice Workbook

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

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

There are a few simple steps from where you can show the standard 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.

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

Read More: How to Find Standard Error of Estimate in Excel (3 Easy Ways)

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 generate a bar chart 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.

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


That’s all about today’s session. And 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. Visit our website ExcelDemy, a one-stop Excel solution provider, to find out about diverse kinds of excel methods. Thanks for your patience in reading this article.

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Fahim Shahriyar Dipto

Fahim Shahriyar Dipto

Hello! Welcome to my Excel blog! I am a big fan of MS Excel. I am learning new and exciting things in Excel and writing the process here. I think this will be helpful for you to get used to Excel. Keep visiting our website for new and updated Excel methods.

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