How to Make a Scatter Plot in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a scatter plot in Excel is a handy way to visually represent data points on a graph. By plotting two sets of numbers as one series of xy coordinates, you can see if there’s a pattern or relationship between them. It’s a pretty straightforward process; you just need to have your data ready, choose the right type of chart, and customize it to your liking. Let’s dive in and learn how to make a scatter plot in Excel!

Step by Step Tutorial to Make a Scatter Plot in Excel

Before we get into the nitty-gritty, it’s important to know that following these steps will help you create a scatter plot that can reveal trends or correlations in your data. Now, let’s get started!

Step 1: Select your data

First things first, you need to select the data you want to plot. This typically involves two columns of numbers that you want to compare.

After selecting your data, you should make sure there are no blank rows or columns in your data range. This could throw off the accuracy of your scatter plot.

Step 2: Go to the ‘Insert’ tab

With your data selected, navigate to the ‘Insert’ tab on the Excel ribbon, which is at the top of the Excel window.

The ‘Insert’ tab is where all the chart magic happens in Excel. Here, you’ll find a variety of chart options to choose from.

Step 3: Click on ‘Scatter’

In the Charts group of the ‘Insert’ tab, you’ll find the ‘Scatter’ option. Click on it to see the different types of scatter plots you can create.

Choosing the right scatter plot is crucial. The simplest option is usually the best to start with, as you can always add more features later.

Step 4: Choose your scatter plot type

From the drop-down menu, select the type of scatter plot you want to use. For most purposes, the first option, which is a plain scatter plot, is sufficient.

If you’re comparing just two sets of data, the plain scatter plot is perfect. However, if you have more complex data, you might consider one of the other options.

Step 5: Customize your scatter plot

Finally, you can customize your scatter plot by adding chart elements like titles, labels, and a legend if necessary.

Customizing your scatter plot can help make it clearer and more informative. Consider what elements will add value to your chart, and don’t clutter it with unnecessary information.

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a fully functional scatter plot that’s ready for analysis. You can now look for patterns in your data or use the graph to present your findings to others.

Tips for Making a Scatter Plot in Excel

  • Make sure your data is clean and organized before starting.
  • Use a consistent scale for your axes to avoid misleading viewers.
  • If you’re comparing multiple sets of data, use different colors or markers for each series.
  • Add a trendline to your scatter plot if you want to highlight a particular trend or relationship.
  • Don’t forget to label your axes to help viewers understand what they’re looking at.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of data is suitable for a scatter plot?

Data that comes in pairs, like test scores and study hours, is perfect for scatter plots. It helps to show if there’s a correlation between the two variables.

Can I make a 3D scatter plot in Excel?

Yes, Excel has an option for 3D scatter plots, but keep in mind that they can be harder to read and may not be suitable for all types of data.

How do I add a trendline to my scatter plot?

Right-click on one of the data points in your scatter plot and select ‘Add Trendline’ from the menu. You can then choose the type of trendline you want to add.

Can I change the color of the data points in my scatter plot?

Absolutely! You can change the color, shape, and size of the data points by right-clicking on them and selecting ‘Format Data Series.’

Why is my scatter plot empty or not showing all my data?

If your scatter plot is empty or missing data, it could be due to blank cells or non-numeric data in your selected range. Double-check your data range for any issues.


  1. Select your data
  2. Go to the ‘Insert’ tab
  3. Click on ‘Scatter’
  4. Choose your scatter plot type
  5. Customize your scatter plot


Creating a scatter plot in Excel can seem like a daunting task at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s as easy as pie! Remember that a scatter plot is an excellent tool for identifying relationships and trends in your data, which can be invaluable whether you’re crunching numbers for a school project or analyzing data for a business report. With the ability to customize your plot with different colors, markers, and trendlines, your scatter plot can become a powerful visual aid. So why not give it a try? Gather your data, fire up Excel, and start plotting away! With practice, you’ll be a scatter plot pro in no time!

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