Introduction: How to Make a Bar Graph in Libre Office

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Diagrams, graphs and charts are important part of every presentation in school or work and it's good to know how easy is to create them with available computer programs. I decided to present creation of simple column chart (bar graph) in LibreOffice Calc, one of free alternatives to MS Excel. This open source packet is available here:

As an example I got a simple sheet with data about employment of mothers in 1970 and 2010. I found two categories: mothers of children, where youngest is less than six years old and mothers of children where youngest is more than six, but less than eighteen years old. According to official stats share of working mothers is raising in both categories.

Step 1: Create a Sheet

Let's open LibreOffice Calc and make a simple sheet of this data:

  • In 1970: 30 % under six, 49 % between six and eighteen
  • In 2010: 60 % under six, 74 % between six and eighteen

Don't worry about formatting of rows and columns, we'll need this only for creation of the chart.

Step 2: Select All the Numbers and Click on Chart Icon

Select all the entries and click the chart-icon.

Step 3: Create a Bar Graph and Start Editing

Bar graph is instantly created, although it looks weird. Data for years is not used in correct place. We'll correct this, but first let's select a bit more fanciful look: shape of cylinder instead of default bar and addition of 3-D effect.

Step 4: Correct the Column Chart

Now it's time to correct data range. Just click on it.

Step 5: Put Right Numbers in Right Places

Under 'Choose a Data Range' you'll find option First column as label. Check it!

Step 6: Select a Bar Graph

Now everything fits in the right place, we just have to export the produced chart as a standalone graphic file. For this let's select the bar graph with a mouse.

Step 7: Export the Chart in Desired Graphic Format (JPG, GIF, Etc.)

Now, just right click and select the graphic format of your choice from the menu. Your bar graph will be exported as a graphic file, which can be used in your presentation like this one:

You probably noticed there are many more fanciful options for creating charts to explore. I'll try to present some of them in the future.

Have fun!

Step 8: