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Make a Box Plot Online with Plotly and Excel

Box Plots with Plotly

Step 1

Upload your Excel data to Plotly's grid

Open the data file for this tutorial in Excel. You can download the file here in CSV format

View of data

Step 2

Head to Plotly

Head to Plotly's Workspace and sign into your free Plotly account. Go to 'Import', click 'Upload a file', then choose your Excel file to upload. Your Excel file will now open in Plotly's grid. For more about Plotly's grid, see this tutorial

Import data

Select 'Box plots' from the MAKE A PLOT menu.

Box Plot

Click the blue plot button in the sidebar to create the chart.

Plot button

Step 3

Traces

Your plot should look something like this.

Traces

Open the TRACES popover in the toolbar.

Traces

This is what the 'Mode' tab of the TRACES popover should look like for 'All Traces (Box)'. We've elected to show all points alongside our boxes, not just the outliers.

Mode

Step 4

Style and Annotate

Your plot should look something like this.

Plotly box plot

In order to get the graph at the top of the chart, you'll need to style it more.

Style your plot

This is what the 'Style' tab of the TRACES popover should look like for 'All Traces (Box)'. We've narrowed our boxes, spread them out more, and stroked them with a thinner weight. We've also made the accompanying points smaller and more spread-out.

box plot styling

We've also changed the fill color of each trace in the 'Mode' tab of the TRACES popover. This is what the tab looks like for 'Carmelo Anthony'.

change the fill color

(Alternative: We didn't, but you can also change the color of the box plot strokes, in the 'Style' tab of the TRACES popover.)

Style graph

Here's how the LAYOUT popover should look.

Graph Layout

We've nudged the top margin, and we're giving our chart a grey background. We've also changed the font.

Plotly graph styling

This is what the 'Lines' tab of the AXES popover looks like for 'All Axes'. We've made the grid lines white, and the x-axis a little heavier.

Axes styling

This is what the 'Labels' tab of the AXES popover looks like for 'X Axis'. We've rotated the labels.

Rotate labels on graph

We're hiding the legend in the LEGEND popover.

Hiding the legend

We've titled our chart, and used markup to format our text and source our data, which in this case is another plotly graph.

markup

Points Scored per NBA Game<br>data taken from <i><a href=''https://plot.ly/jackp/969''>Points Scored by the Top 50 Scoring NBA Players in 2012</a></i>

Step 5

Export & Share

Download an image of your Plotly graph by clicking EXPORT on the toolbar.

Export

Your finished chart should look something like this:

Finished

To add the Excel file to your workbook, click where you want to insert the picture inside Excel. On the INSERT tab inside Excel, in the ILLUSTRATIONS group, click PICTURE. Locate the Plotly graph image that you downloaded and then double-click it. Notice that we also copy-pasted the Plotly graph link in a cell for easy access to the interactive Plotly version.

Plot in Excel

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