Software & Apps MS Office How to Create a Report in Excel Using charts, graphs, and pivot tables makes it easy By Ryan Dube Writer Ryan Dube is a freelance contributor to Lifewire and former Managing Editor of MakeUseOf, senior IT Analyst, and an automation engineer. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Ryan Dube Updated August 14, 2019 David Schwarzenberg/Pixabay MS Office Excel Word Powerpoint Outlook Tweet Share Email Your boss asks you for a report by friday. Excel is a perfect tool for collecting, organizing and reporting on data. However, you need to know how to create a report in Excel before you can design something that will impress your boss. There are key skills you should develop to create useful, informational reports. Those include basic charts and tables, pivot tables, and printing the report. The information in this article applies to Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, and Excel for Mac. Creating Basic Charts and Tables for an Excel Report Creating reports usually means collecting information and presenting it all in a single sheet that serves as the report sheet for all of the information. These report sheets should be formatted in a way that's very easy to print as well. One of the most common tools people use in Excel to create reports is the chart and table tools. To create a chart in an Excel report sheet: Select Insert from the menu, and in the charts group, select the type of chart you want to add to the report sheet. In the Chart Design menu, in the Data group, select Select Data. Select the sheet with the data and select all cells containing the data you want to chart (include headers). The chart will update in your report sheet with the data. The headers will be used to populate the labels in the two axis. Repeat the above steps to create new charts and graphs that appropriately represent the data you want to show in your report. When you need to create a new report, you can just paste the new data into the data sheets, and the charts and graphs update automatically. There are different ways to lay out a report using Excel. You can include graphs and charts on the same page as tabular (numeric) data, or you can create multiple sheets so visual reporting is on one sheet, tabular data is on another sheet, and so on. Using PivotTables to Generate a Report From an Excel Spreadsheet Pivot tables are another powerful tool for creating reports in Excel. Pivot tables help with digging more deeply into data. Select the sheet with the data you want to analyze. Select Insert > PivotTable. In the Create PivotTable dialogue, in the Table/Range field, select the range of data you want to analyze. In the Location field, select the first cell of the worksheet where you want the analysis to go. Select OK to finish. This will launch the pivot table creation process in the new sheet. In the PivotTable Fields area, the first field you select will be the reference field. In this example, this pivot table will show website traffic information by month. So, first, you'd select Month. Next, drag the data fields you want to show data for into the values area of the PivotTable fields pane. You'll see the data imported from the source sheet into your pivot table. The pivot table collates all of the data for multiple items by adding them (by default). In this example, you can see which months had the most page views. If you want a different analysis, just select the drop-down arrow next to the item in the Values pane, then select Value Field Settings. In the Value Field Settings dialogue box, change the calculation type to whichever you prefer. This will update the data in the pivot table accordingly. Using this approach, you can perform any analysis you like on source data, and create pivot charts that display the information in your report in the way you need. How to Print Your Excel Report You can generate a printed report from all the sheets you created, but first you need to add page headers. Select Insert > Text > Header & Footer. Type the title for the report page, then format it to use larger than normal text. Repeat this process for each report sheet you plan to print. Next, hide the sheets you don't want included in the report. To do this, right-click the sheet tab and select Hide. To print your report, select File > Print. Change orientation to Landscape, and scaling to Fit All Columns on One Page. Select Print Entire Workbook. Now when you print your report, only the report sheets you created will print as individual pages. You can either print your report out on paper, or print it as a PDF and send it out as an email attachment.