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Select data for a chart in Excel for Mac

To create a chart, the first step is to select the data—across a set of cells. Sometimes, you may not want to display all of your data. You can choose which so you can choose the specific columns, rows, or cells to include.

After you select your data, on the Insert tab, select Recommended Charts.

Tip: Sometimes your data isn't arranged in Excel in a way that lets you create the type of chart you want. Learn how to arrange data for specific types of charts.

To select

Here's what to do

Multiple adjacent columns

Position the cursor in the column header of the first column, and click and hold while you drag to select adjacent columns.

Multiple adjacent rows

Position the cursor in the row header of the first row, and click and hold while you drag to select adjacent rows.

Partial rows or columns

Position the cursor in the top left cell, and click and hold while you drag to the bottom right cell.

All content in a table

Position the cursor anywhere in the table.

All content in a named range

Position the cursor anywhere in the named range.

You can select the specific rows, columns, or cells to include—if your data has not been formatted as a table.

Tips: 

  • If your data is formatted as a table and you want to select nonadjacent information for a chart, first convert the table back to a normal range. Put the cursor in the table, and on the Table tab, select Convert to Range.


  • On the Table tab, select Convert to Range

To select

Here's what to do

Data in nonadjacent rows or columns

Position your cursor in the first row or column. Press COMMAND and select the other rows and columns you want.

You can also do this by hiding the rows or columns in your worksheet. However, when you unhide the rows or columns, they will automatically show up in the chart.

Data in nonadjacent cells

Position your cursor in the first cell. Press COMMAND and select the other cells you want.

Create a summary worksheet to pull the data from multiple worksheets together, and create the chart from the summary worksheet. To create the summary worksheet, copy data from each source worksheet, and then on the Paste menu, select Paste Link. With Paste Link, when the data is updated on your source worksheets, the summary worksheet and chart will also be updated.

For example, if you have one worksheet for each month, you could make a 13th worksheet for the entire year—that includes data from each of the monthly worksheets that you want for your chart.

Another way to create a chart is to select the type of chart you want, and then specify the data to include. You can also change the data range after you've created a chart.

Note: You must select data that is contiguous and adjacent.

Follow these steps:

  1. On the Insert tab, select the chart type you want.

  2. On the Chart Design tab, select Select Data.

    On the Chart Design tab, click Select Data

  3. Click in the Chart data range box, and then select the data in your worksheet.

    Select the data range for a chart

See Also

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