How to Create Multi-category Charts in Excel

It is possible to create a multi-category chart in Excel (as shown below).

The trick is to arrange the data in a certain way, that makes Excel interpret as having multiple categories.

Suppose I have the data for the monthly expenses I make on the food items (as listed below). The idea to create a chart for these items, and also categorize these as Fruits, Vegetables, and Packaged Food.

Multi-category Charts in Excel

This is no rocket science. All you need is to arrange your data as shown below. Note that I have just added the overall category name (such as Fruit, Vegetable..) in a column on the left of the category name (apple, banana, orange..)

Multi-category Charts in Excel data

If you have the data arranged, as shown above, here are the steps to make this chart:

  1. Select the entire data set.
  2. Go to Insert –> Column –> 2-D Column –> Clustered Column.
    • You can also use the keyboard shortcut Alt + F1 to create a column chart from data.

Multi-category Charts in Excel - Clustered Column Select

  1. That’s it!! You will have your chart. Format it the way you want.


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4 thoughts on “How to Create Multi-category Charts in Excel”

    • There’s culinary taxonomy and botanical taxonomy. Please don’t put a tomato in my fruit salad.


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