Single Series Column Chart (Variation) for PowerPoint

Use this single series column chart PowerPoint template to show data comparison across categories. 

  • This chart template is pre-formatted for both positive and negative values. 
  • In case of negative values, the corresponding column colors change to red automatically.
  • In case of negative values, the X-axis position adjusts itself and moves to a low position so that the axis labels do not overlap the data series. 


Column Chart



The column chart in above example shows monthly revenue of an organization for 12 months – from January to December. 

How to use and edit this chart template

To edit this chart template, execute following steps.

  1. Right click on the chart to open chart menu. Click Edit Data. This will open the linked Excel sheet (see video below).
  2. Enter categories in column A and corresponding data in column B.
  3. Close the Excel sheet.
  4. Pre-formatted for both positive and negative values.
  5. File format: PPTX. Compatible with PowerPoint 2010 and above.

See the following video for;

  • How to edit chart data easily.
  • How to change chart colors.
  • How to format axis to change currency and choose the currency of your choice from the options available within PowerPoint.

Column chart, also known as vertical bar chart or vertical bar graph, is an extremely useful chart type to present data comparisons. They are not only easy to create and easy to understand but also are very effective in showing comparisons across categories. 

Column chart is a graphical representation of category data plotted in form of vertical rectangular columns. The height of each rectangular column indicates numerical value of the category it represents. Height of the column is proportional to the data value – taller the column, higher is the corresponding value of that category.

Categories are plotted along horizontal X-axis and their measured numeric values (series data) are plotted along vertical Y-axis. The series data can be in form of numbers, percentages, frequencies etc. 

Column charts are used to visualize and present comparison of categorical data. For example; comparison of sales numbers over a period of time, comparison of revenue by branches, and so on. 

Column charts can be used to plot data for both nominal and ordinal categories. 

  • Nominal categories are qualitative and descriptive. For example; gender, names, colors etc. Nominal categories do not have any particular sequence or order and hence they can be plotted in any order. 
  • On the other hand, ordinal categories have a particular order and they follow a certain sequence. For example; weeks, months, years, age groups, service satisfaction level etc. Ordinal categories must be plotted in their logical order.

Here are some guidelines for use of column charts;

  • A column chart is not recommended when you have more than 10 – 12 categories (and long category names), as the chart may get cluttered and difficult to read. In case you must use a column chart with long category names, you can rotate or slant the category names to reduce the clutter. 
  • When using a grouped or stacked column chart, try to limit number of sub-categories to 3 – 4. More than 3 – 4 categories makes the chart cluttered and difficult to read.
  • Column charts can be used for both positive and negative values. 

Numbers have an important story to tell. They rely on you to give them a clear and convincing voice.

Stephen Few
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