Creating Bar Charts and Line Graphs In Mac Numbers

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Today let's take a look at the basics of creating Bar Charts and Line Graphs in Mac Numbers.

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So Mac Numbers makes it really easy to create simple charts and graphs using the values

in your tables.

The first thing you want to do is you want to make sure that your data is in order.

Here I created a simple table.

It's just a sales chart.

I've got in each row a different product.

I have a Header column here with the product name.

Then each column is a different store.

So an East store and a West store and then a value.

So the number of oranges sold in the East store is 40.

So note I've got labels in the Headers here.

So these are all just labels and these are labels and that's what you want.

You want the values in the regular cells.

To create a chart you can start off by selecting the values you want to represent in the chart.

So if I wanted to represent the East store I could go and select the first value here,

shift and click the last value, and create a chart using these values.

But since that represents all the values in this column I could just simply click B and

select the entire column like that.

It knows that East is a label because it's in a Header cell and it won't add that as

something in the chart.

But it will actually use it as a label in the chart regardless of whether we select

just the values or the entire column.

It's also going to use these labels here even though we haven't selected them because it

knows that these Header cells they are labels to be used.

It's going to use them in the chart.

Let's go now and click Chart.

We're going to select a Column chart to start with.

So I select that and each of these columns represent a value here.

So 50, 40, 60, I could see 50, 40, 60 apples, oranges, and bananas.

I could see it used the Header label here, East, as a color chip saying blue represents

East and sure enough we only have blue columns and they all represent East.

We also see the labels at the bottom of the chart are from the Header column there.

They are the names of the fruits.

Now we can change a lot about this by going to Format and Chart in the right sidebar.

You can select from various chart styles.

You can do things like turn on the Title.

That gives you a field here to type in a title.

You can turn on and off the legend.

That's the little color codings there.

In this case I might want to turn it off since it's obvious that I'm only showing one store.

I can actually turn on the Title and then use this as a way to represent what's in the


I can turn on and off a border as well.

In addition to using these styles here I can go down to Chart Colors here and choose various

color schemes including Images and Textures for the different columns.

Charts have different unique things about them.

For instance for column charts I can round off the corners.

You can see round corners there.

You can continue to look for other things to do as well.

For instance, Gaps I can add space between each column and things like that.

Let's delete this and instead of selecting just the one store we'll select two.

So I'm going to select B and hold the shift key down and select C as well.

I'm going to create the same chart.

What I'm going to get here is two columns per item.

So here's apples from East and West.

Now those little color chips at the top make sense.

You'll be able to match them to the colors of the columns.

Now each one of these colors represent a column in the original table.

But in the chart they are called a Series.

Go to Format, Series here and I can now select one or the other.

So I'll select a blue column there.

You can see all the blue columns are selected and it tells me that data for blue is represented

by the column East in the table.

The name is from B1 which is the name of this cell right here that says East in it.

I can do various things.

Like I can turn Labels on.

I can have the number for each one on or off.

If I wanted to work with the other Series I could select that one there.

Now you can see that's West.

The name is taken from C1.

You can also, with the Series selected, go to Style.

Here's where I can change things like the specific color that's being used for that

series there.

Let's try this with another type of chart.

So let's select just the East and do Chart.

I will do a Bar Chart like this.

You could see it's basically the same thing.

It's just in a different orientation.

Most of the options are the same between Column charts and Bar charts.

Now with either one if I were to have more than one column's worth of data, so let's

select both East and West stores, and I can do it here as a Bar chart for each one represented

with a different bar.

Or I can do it as a Stacked chart.

These two here are Stacked charts.

A Stacked Column and a Stacked Bar chart.

If I do it that way it stacks the values up so you could see the sales for all the stores

represented together.

Now when you go into Series here on the right and you select one of these here you could

see the blue comes first and green comes second.

If I wanted to change that you could see the Order number here.

Blue is 1 and green is 2.

If I were to go and change green to 1 you can see they swap.

So that's important because sometimes you want a very specific set of values as the

base and the other set of values to build on top of that.

Now let's create a line chart or line graph as I usually call it.

We'll just do it here with just the sales from one store.

Chart and you could see I've got the line graph here.

You could see it creates a line there.

The data is the same but now there's a line connecting each point.

When I go to the Chart over here I can go to Series and there's only one series so it's

going to show it whether I select the series or not.

But in addition you'll be able to turn on Value labels here so you can see each number.

I can also turn on the Trend line.

Trend lines are really important in graphs because sometimes the data can be a little


Like are sales increasing or decreasing.

It looks like they're increasing.

You can tell with the Trend line.

Let's do a linear trend line and you can see the trend is going up.

There are different types of trend lines that you can try including Moving Average.

Moving Average allows you to get a number based on the values around it.

This, of course, really doesn't make sense since we're looking at individual products


But if these were dates like May 1, May 2, May 3 and all of that, then trend lines especially

the moving average would be really useful to have.

In fact you could have only trend lines show by selecting something like the Moving Average

here and then going to Style and then turning off the line so no line there for the regular


Now when I click off it you can only see the trend line or in this case the Moving Average.

You can also select the columns here and do a multiline graph like that and then control

each series.

Like there's the blue series and there's the green series and you can control different

things with those.

Now there's no such thing as a stacked line graph but you could do Area graphs.

So an Area graph is like a line graph here but it fills everything below the line in.

So I could do it like this showing two different series on top of each other.

But I could also have selected these and chosen the Stacked Area here so it's adding the two

of them together.

Just like the Bar and Column Stacked charts were.

Now a few more tips here.

One is that you can switch charts types.

So I've been using the same data this whole time but I always delete the chart and create

a new one.

You don't have to do that.

Go can go to Chart here and all the way at the bottom you can change the Chart type.

So I can switch to a Line chart like that.

I can switch to a Stacked Bar like that.

Also you can go to the Axis tab here on the right and you can change things about the


So here at the bottom you could see it goes zero, 40, 80, 120, 160.

I can actually increase the number of steps like that.

I can set the scale so at maximum.

So instead of going to 160 I could have it go to 200 if this is where I want the top

of the chart.

I can even set the bottom of the chart to something like 100.

You can even do things like change the label angle.

So I could say a vertical label there or diagonal.

I can change what the grid lines look like.

Here making them larger, smaller, doing all sorts of different things.

I can add minor grid lines as well inbetween the major ones.

There's a ton you can do to customize your charts in Numbers.

The way to learn all the features is simple.

Just play around with it.

Instead of waiting until you need to use this create some sample data now or use some old

data and create some charts.

Try changing each one of the different things that you see in the right sidebar.

See what it does.

Make notes of what could be useful to you in the future so when you need to make a chart

for your data you know how to use all the features of Numbers' Charts.