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How to add Error Bars in Excel: Standard Deviation

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How to add Error Bars in Excel: Standard Deviation? Imagine that if all data was perfect, absolute and complete. Although actually, it isn’t, Excel gives us some useful tools to convey margins of error and standard deviations.  If you work in a field that needs to reflect an accurate range of data error, you can add Error Bars to your charts and graphs.

Let’s see how to add error bars in Excel?

How to add error bars in excel 2016
Adding error bars in excel with this example, we have a linear graph which is showing the monthly sale of the mobile product of the shop.

Now we will add an Error Bar in this linear graph. You can learn this in our advanced excel course online

How to add a standard bar in Excel or Standard Deviation?

Step 1: Click on the Chart.

Fly-out list of checkbox

Step 2: Click the Chart Elements Button to open the fly-out list of checkboxes.

Check in the error bars checkbox

Step 3: Put a check in the Error Bars checkbox. Then the graph will be looked like above picture.

Standard Deviation Error from the Error list of Error bars

Step 4: Click the arrow beside the Error Bars checkbox to choose from common error types. There are 3 types of Error:

  1. Standard Error: To display standard error amount for all values.
  2. Percentage: To specify a percentage error range and Excel will calculate the error amount for each value. Default percentage is 5%.
  3. Standard Deviation: To display standard deviation error amount for all values. Resulting X &Y error bars will be the same size and won’t vary with each value.

Calculate standard deviation amount

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Excel uses the above equation to calculate Standard Deviation Amount. Here, s = series number I = point number in series s m = number of series for point y in the chart n = number of points in each series y is = data value of series s and i the point n y = total number of data values in all series M = arithmetic mean Standard Deviation Error from the Error list of Error bars

Step 5: Click Standard Deviation Error from the Error list of Error bars. Now our graph will be looked like above picture.

So We have added error bar with Standard Deviation in our linear graph! Now let’s get some Tips!


turn on Error bars from the Add Chart Element dropdown button

Tips 1: We can also turn on Error bars from the Add Chart Element drop-down button on the Design tab under the Chart Tools contextual tab.

Customize Error Bar Settings

Tips 2: Customize Error Bar Settings

Double click on any Error Bar inside the graph. It will open the Format Error Bars Task Pane with many options to customize Error Bar. You can Change the color, Direction, End Style and much more. So, Now we have learned about how to add Error Bars with Standard Deviation in Graph with some tips!

The direction of the error bars depends on the type of chart you’re using. Scatter charts can show both horizontal and vertical error bars. You can remove either of these error bars by selecting them, and then pressing Delete.

The ease with which our tutorials provide students with all the necessary information enables our students to efficiently and effectively get the most out of Excel, the world’s most popular software for any kind of business.

Download: How to Add Error Bars in Excel

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