How to Make a Graph in Microsoft Word

It's not as hard as it sounds

When you want to display data visually, turn your data into a graph. Creating a graph in Word isn't as hard as you might think, as long as you follow the instructions outlined below.

Instructions in this article apply to Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, and Word 365 for Mac. You cannot create a graph in Word Online.

Create a Graph on a Mac

Creating and customizing a graph in Word for Mac can be done by taking the following steps:

  1. Open the Word document in which you want to insert a graph, or create a new document.

    A word document in Office 365 for Mac.
  2. Select Insert, located near the upper-left corner of the Word window.

    The Insert menu in Office 365 for Mac.
  3. Select Chart.

    Selecting Chart in Word in Office 365 for Mac.

    The term chart in Word refers to a large number of items. Only a few of these items are graphs.

  4. Hover the mouse cursor over the type of graph that you wish to create. For example, select Line or Statistical.

    Different types of column charts in Word in Office 365 for Mac.
  5. A sub-menu appears that contains multiple options, including different formats and variations. Select the graph you want to insert in the document.

    Selecting a #D clustered column chart in Word.
  6. In the Excel spreadsheet that opens, enter the data for the graph.

    A spreadsheet in Excel.
  7. Once you are satisfied with both the category names and values, close the Excel window to see the graph in the Word document.

    A chart has been inserted in Word in Office 365 for Mac.
  8. To access the data in the Excel workbook at a later time, select the graph, go to the Chart Design tab, then select Edit Data in Excel.

Create a Graph in Windows

To create a graph in a Word for Windows document:

  1. Open the Word document in which you want to insert a graph, or create a new document.

    A document in Microsoft Word.
  2. Select Insert, located near the upper-left corner of the Word window.

    Selecting the Insert menu in Microsoft Word.
  3. Select Chart.

    Selecting Chart in Microsoft Word.
  4. In the Insert Chart dialog box, select the type of graph that you wish to create. For example, choose either Line, Bar, or Histogram.

    Different chart options in Microsoft Word.
  5. Each grouping of graphs contains multiple options, including different formats and variations. After choosing the graph that you wish to insert, select OK.

    Changing options for a chart in Microsoft Word.
  6. The graph appears in the Word document, and a new window containing editable data in spreadsheet format opens. To modify the category names and data, replace the existing text and numeric values with the appropriate entries. Changes made in the spreadsheet are instantly reflected in the graph.

    If you want to edit the data in Microsoft Excel, select Edit Data in Microsoft Excel in the miniature spreadsheet.

    Entering in data into the mini spreadsheet in Microsoft Word.
  7. When you're satisfied with the category names and values, close the spreadsheet window.

    Data has been entered into a chart in Microsoft Word.

Change the Format and Edit the Data

After the graph is created, there are formatting buttons positioned to its right. If these aren't visible, select the chart. These settings modify how the graph interacts with the text around it from a layout perspective, add or remove elements in the graph (including titles, labels, gridlines, and a legend), change graph styles and colors, and apply filters to the graph. More configurable options are found in the Windows version as opposed to macOS.

Different design options for a chart in Microsoft Word.

To access or edit the data in the graph, select Edit Data or Edit Data in Excel.

Selecting to edit data in the spreadsheet in Microsoft Word.