How to Create Multi-category Charts in Excel

It is possible to create a multi-category chart in Excel (as shown below).

The trick is to arrange the data in a certain way, that makes Excel interpret as having multiple categories.

Suppose I have the data for the monthly expenses I make on the food items (as listed below). The idea to create a chart for these items, and also categorize these as Fruits, Vegetables, and Packaged Food.

This is no rocket science. All you need is to arrange your data as shown below. Note that I have just added the overall category name (such as Fruit, Vegetable..) in a column on the left of the category name (apple, banana, orange..)

If you have the data arranged, as shown above, here are the steps to make this chart:

  1. Select the entire data set.
  2. Go to Insert –> Column –> 2-D Column –> Clustered Column.
    • You can also use the keyboard shortcut Alt + F1 to create a column chart from data.

  1. That’s it!! You will have your chart. Format it the way you want.

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