How to Create a Chart in Excel for iPad

Do you want to turn your Excel spreadsheet from a boring lump of numbers into an easy-to-consume display? Nothing turns raw data into something comprehensible like a chart. While Microsoft strangely left charts out of the original release of Word and PowerPoint for the iPad, it's rather easy to create a chart in Excel. You can even copy charts from Excel and paste them into Word or PowerPoint.

Let's get started.

  1. Launch Excel and open up a new spreadsheet to enter the data. If you are using an existing spreadsheet, you may need to rearrange the data to conform to a chart.
  2. The data should take the form of a grid, even if you only have one row of numbers. You should have a label to the left of each row of data and on top of each column. These labels will be used in creating the chart.
  3. When you are ready to create your chart, tap on the top-left cell of your data grid. It should be a blank cell just above your row labels.
  4. You can expand the selection two ways: (1) When you initially tap the blank cell, don't lift your finger. Instead, slide it down to the bottom-right cell. The selection will expand with your finger. Or (2), after tapping the blank cell, the cell will be highlighted with black circles at the top-left and bottom right. These are anchors. Tap the bottom-right anchor and slide your finger to the bottom-right cell in your grid.
  1. Now that the data is highlighted, tap "Insert" at the top and choose Charts.
  2. There are a number of different charts available ranging from bar charts to pie charts to area charts to scatter charts. Navigate the categories and choose the chart you want to create.
  3. When you choose the chart type, a chart will be inserted in the spreadsheet. You can move the chart around by tapping and dragging it on the screen. You can also use the anchors (black circles at the edges of the chart) to resize the chart by tapping them and sliding your finger.
  1. Want to switch the labels? Inserting the chart may not get everything just right. If you want to switch the labels, tap the chart so that it is highlighted and tap "Switch" from the Chart menu.
  2. Don't like the layout? Any time you tap the chart to highlight it, a chart menu appears at the top. You can choose "Layouts" to switch to one of many different layouts. There are also options for changing the colors, the style of the graph, or even changing to a different type of graph.
  3. If you don't like the final product, start again. Simply tap the chart and choose "Delete" from the menu to remove the chart. Highlight the grid again and choose a new chart.