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How to Make a Graph with Error Bars with Plotly and Excel

Error Bars 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 XLS format

Excel view

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

Step 3

Creating the Chart

After importing the data, select the 'Scatter plots' option from 'Choose Plot Type' dropdown.

Select bar chart from menu

Select the 'Error Bars' option from the left toolbar. Select the data shape as shown in figure, and click on 'Scatter Plot' button to create the chart.

Create Chart

This will create a raw chart as shown below. Now we are going to style it to make it more presentable.

Raw chart

Step 4

Styling of the Chart

From the Traces popover, select the Marker as 'line and markers' from the 'mode' tab.

Select Marker

From the Traces popover, under 'style' tab, select the line type as 'dotted'.

Selected dotted line

In the Traces popover, under 'error bar' tab, set the line length to 1, and width to 6.

Style Error Bars

To Change the background color, click on 'Layout' popover, and select suitable 'Plot Color' from the general tab.

Edit Backgrond color

From the Axes popover, set the grid lines color to white. The option is available under 'Lines' tab.

Edit Backgrond color

Step 5

Export & Share

The final chart should look like the one below.

Final Chart

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


To add the chart inside an excel sheet, 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.

Insert Plot in Excel

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