Introduction: How to Create a 2-D Scatter Plot on Microsoft Excel

In many college courses it is necessary to create a plot in order to better interpret two sets of data. An effective plot for analyzing two sets of data is a 2-D scatter plot. A scatter plot has points that show the relationship between two sets of data. For example, a scatter plot can show the relationship between time and velocity as a car accelerates. This Instructable will show you how to create a 2-D scatter plot on Microsoft Excel using a PC operating with Windows.

To complete this Instructable you will need the following:

  • A PC that runs on Windows and has Microsoft Excel
  • Basic knowledge of how to operate a computer

The Instructable should take you 5-10 minutes to complete.

Step 1: Open a Microsoft Excel Workbook

You will start by double clicking the Microsoft Excel icon that is found on the computer's desktop. A picture of the Microsoft Excel icon is provided in Figure 1.

If you have successfully double clicked the icon, your screen should look like Figure 2.

Finally, you will double click "Blank workbook", which is highlighted in Figure 2.

Step 2: Click the "Insert" Tab

On the screen you are currently on, select the "Insert" tab. This is highlighted for you in Figure 4.

If you have successfully completed Step 2, your screen will look like Figure 5. Note the new toolbar available to you that is highlighted in Figure 5.

Step 3: Open a Blank Scatter Plot

In the "Charts" section of your new toolbar, click on the scatter plot which is highlighted in Figure 6.

This will open up a drop down menu where you will then select the first option.

If you have successfully completed Step 3, your screen will look like Figure 7. Note the new toolbar that appears.

Step 4: Enter Your Data

In the new toolbar select "Select Data". This will bring up a "Select Data Source" box. On the "Select Data Source" box select "Add". The "Select Data Source" box with "Add" highlighted can be found in Figure 8.

After selecting "Add", the "Edit Series" box will appear. Here you will enter your x and y values. Figure 9 shows the correct entering of data using both x and y values of 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Step 5: Finishing Your Plot

Once you have finished entering your x and y values, click "Ok". This will direct you back to the "Select Data Source" box where you will again select "Ok."

You have now finished. Figure 10 shows the finished scatter plot with the data from Step 4.

If you would like to customize your scatter plot by adding a title or labeling an axis, you may do so by right clicking on your scatter plot and selecting "Format Chart Area."