How to Make a Frequency Table in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making a frequency table in Excel is a simple process that allows you to organize and analyze data efficiently. A frequency table is a tool that displays the number of times each value occurs in a dataset. To create one, you’ll need to have your data ready in Excel and follow a few straightforward steps.

Step-by-Step Tutorial: Creating a Frequency Table in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming to achieve. A frequency table will enable us to see at a glance how often each data point appears in our set. This can be particularly useful in statistics, research, and data analysis.

Step 1: Enter your data

Ensure that your data is entered into Excel and each value you want to analyze is in its own cell in a single column.

Entering your data correctly is crucial. Each data point should be in a separate cell, and it’s usually best to have them in a single column for clarity. Make sure there are no blank cells within your data range, as this can cause errors when generating the frequency table.

Step 2: Determine the range of your data

Identify the smallest and largest values in your data set, as this will help you determine the bins for your frequency table.

Understanding the range of your data is essential for creating appropriate bins, which are intervals that group your data points. For example, if your data ranges from 1 to 100, you might create bins that cover the intervals 1-10, 11-20, and so on.

Step 3: Create bins for your data

In a new column, list the upper limits of your bins based on the range of your data.

Creating bins is an important step because they will organize your data into groups, making it easier to analyze. The upper limit of a bin is the highest value that can fall into that category. Be consistent with your intervals to avoid skewing your results.

Step 4: Use the FREQUENCY function

Next to your bins, type in the FREQUENCY function to calculate how many data points fall within each bin.

The FREQUENCY function in Excel is specifically designed for creating frequency tables. It’s an array function, meaning it will display results across multiple cells. After you’ve typed in the function, you’ll need to select the range of cells that correspond to your bins before pressing Enter.

Step 5: Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter

After typing in the FREQUENCY function and selecting the range, press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to execute the function as an array formula.

Pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter is the final step that tells Excel you’re using an array function. You’ll know it’s done correctly when you see curly braces {} appear around the formula in the formula bar. This will populate each cell next to your bins with the corresponding frequency count.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a fully functional frequency table that categorizes and counts your data points based on the bins you’ve set up. This visual representation will help you quickly identify trends and patterns in your data.

Tips for Making a Frequency Table in Excel

  • Ensure your data is clean, without duplicates or errors, before creating a frequency table.
  • Consistency in bin sizes is key for an accurate frequency table; try to keep the intervals the same.
  • If you have a large dataset, consider using larger bin intervals to make your table more readable.
  • You can format your frequency table with different colors or fonts to make it easier to interpret.
  • Excel offers different methods to create frequency tables, such as PivotTables, which can also be useful depending on your data analysis needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are bins in a frequency table?

Bins are defined intervals that group your data points into categories. Each bin represents a range of values, and the frequency table counts how many data points fall within each bin.

Can I create a frequency table with non-numeric data?

Yes, Excel can create frequency tables for non-numeric data such as categories or labels. The process might differ slightly, but the principles remain the same.

How can I customize the appearance of my frequency table?

Excel allows you to use its formatting tools to change the look of your frequency table. You can add colors, borders, and fonts to make the table more visually appealing or easier to read.

Can I make a frequency table with multiple data sets in Excel?

Yes, you can create a frequency table that compares multiple data sets. You’ll need to organize your data accordingly and possibly use multiple FREQUENCY functions or a PivotTable.

Is there a limit to the amount of data I can use to create a frequency table in Excel?

While there’s no set limit, Excel might become slower or less responsive with extremely large datasets. It’s recommended to clean and sort your data to optimize the process.


  1. Enter your data into Excel.
  2. Determine the range of your data.
  3. Create bins for your data.
  4. Use the FREQUENCY function.
  5. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter.


Creating a frequency table in Excel is a straightforward task that can vastly improve your ability to analyze and interpret data. By organizing your data into bins and using the FREQUENCY function, you turn a jumble of numbers into clear insights. Whether you’re a student working on a statistics project, a business analyst looking for trends, or just someone with a curiosity for numbers, mastering the art of making a frequency table in Excel is an invaluable skill. So go ahead, get your data ready, and start creating your frequency tables—your next big discovery might just be hidden in those figures!

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