Skip to content

How to add error bars in Excel?

Excel is one of the most popular spreadsheet management software ever created. From school kids to industry professionals, everyone uses it pretty much daily to manage their data.

Out of the many features that the program offers, there’s the ability to draw charts to illustrate data better. In those charts, you can add error bars which help you see margins of error and standard deviations at a glance. 

In this article, we’re looking at how you can add, change or remove error bars in a chart in Excel on Windows and macOS.

Also read: How to reduce Excel file size? 7 methods explained


Error Bars in Excel on Windows

Here’s how you can add error bars to Excel charts in Windows.

Step 1: Click anywhere on the chart to select it and click the Chart Elements button next to the chart. 

How to add error bars in Excel?

Step 2: Hover over the Error Bars options and pick an option according to your preference. You can choose More Options to set your error bar amounts. Here’s what each option means.

How to add error bars in Excel?
  • Standard Error: Shows the standard error of the mean for all values. 
  • Percentage: Shows the error bars with a standard 5% error deviation. 
  • Standard Deviation: Shows how much the data can vary based on the formula for Standard Deviation. 
  • More Options: Lets you set your own error values and even create custom error bars. 

Note that the direction of your error bar will automatically be aligned with the direction of your chart. You can add error bars to 2D area, bar, column, line, XY (scatter), and bubble charts. In scatter and bubble charts, you can show error bars for X and Y values.

How to remove error bars in Excel?

To remove error bars, head over to Chart Options again and uncheck the Error Bar option. You can modify the error bars by following the same steps given above. 

Adding Error Bars in Excel 2007 and 2010

Follow these steps to add error bars in Excel 2007 and 2010.

Step 1: Click on the chart to activate the Chart Tools ribbon. 

Step 2: Head over to the Layout tab, then the Analysis group, and click on Error Bars. You’ll be able to select all the options described above. 

Also read: Verizon outage: Everything you need to know


Error bars in Excel on macOS

To add error bars to a chart on macOS, follow these steps.

Step 1: Click the chart to select it and then head over to the Chart Design tab. 

Step 2: Click Add Chart Element followed by Error Bars and select from one of the options given below. 

  • Standard Error: Shows the standard error of the mean for all values. 
  • Percentage: Shows the error bars with a standard 5% error deviation. 
  • Standard Deviation: Shows how much the data can vary based on the formula for Standard Deviation. 
  • More Options: Lets you set your own error values and even create custom error bars. 

You can express your error bars as custom values by using the More Options feature as well. 

Also read: Arrow keys not working in Excel: 3 Fixes

Hello There!

If you like what you read, please support our publication by sharing it with your friends, family and colleagues. We're an ad-supported publication. So, if you're running an Adblocker, we humbly request you to whitelist us.







>