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Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024
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23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


Microsoft Excel is powerful data visualisation and analysis software, which uses spreadsheets to store, organise, and track data sets with formulas and functions. Excel is used by marketers, accountants, data analysts, and other professionals. It's part of the Microsoft Office suite of products.

Error Bars in Excel

In Excel, error bars are graphical representations of data variation. They demonstrate the accuracy of a measurement. Standard deviation and standard error are commonly represented as bars. They show how far the genuine value differs from the determined value.

On charts, error bars provide a more thorough perspective of the data set by allowing readers to see the data's margins or errors.

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How to add Error Bars in Excel

Error bars can be added to specific types of charts in Microsoft Excel, such as line chartsbar charts, and scatter charts.

The steps below will help you in adding error bars to your Excel charts:

1. Choose a chart.

2. On the right side of the chart, click the + button, then the arrow next to Error Bars, then More Options.


Add Error Bars

Take note of the shortcuts for fast displaying error bars when using the Standard Error, which is a percentage value of 5% or one standard deviation.

The Pane of Format Error Bars appears.

3. Decide on a course of action. Both should be selected.

4. Decide on a final style. Capture the moment.

5. Select Fixed value and type 10 into the box.


If you add horizontal error bars to a scatter plot, Excel will also add vertical error bars. These error bars have been eliminated in this case. For example, In period 1, the vertical error bar predicts 10 to 30 sales. In period 2, the vertical error bar forecasts 22 to 42 sold.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is Excel?
    Microsoft Excel is powerful data visualisation and analysis software, which uses spreadsheets to store, organise, and track data sets with formulas and functions.
  2. What are error bars?
    Error bars in Excel are graphical representations of data variability. They show the precision of a measurement.
  3. What are error bars used for?
    Error bars show us how exact measurement is, or, alternatively, how far away the true (error-free) value is from the reported value.
  4. How to add error bars for a specific data series?
    To add error bars for the specific data series, we need to check the error bars checkbox only for one single data series instead of multiple.
  5. How to delete error bars in excel?
    To remove all error bars from your graph, click anywhere within the chart, then click the Chart Elements button and clear the Error Bars check box. 


In this article, we learnt about error bars in excel. We also saw an example of creating error bars in Excel. We also learned how to work with error bars and how to customise them.

Apart from this, you can also expand your knowledge by referring to the blog- Introduction to Excel.

For more information, refer to Worksheets in Excel.

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Topics covered
Error Bars in Excel
How to add Error Bars in Excel
Frequently Asked Questions