Adding error bars

Excel 2016 2013 2010 2007
For certain chart types, you can add error bars to your chart. Error bars often are used to indicate 'plus or minus' information that reflects uncertainty in the data.
The Chart with Error bars in Excel 2003

Error bars are appropriate only for area, bar, column, line, and XY charts.

In the popup menu choose the Format Data Series....

Format Data Series in Excel 2003

Click the Y Error Bars tab in the Format Data Series dialog box to display the error bars options.

Y Error Bars in Excel 2003

A data series in an XY chart can have error bars for both the X values and Y values.

Excel enables you to specify several types of error bars:

  • Fixed value: The error bars are fixed by an amount that you specify.
  • Percentage: The error bars are a percentage of each value.
  • Standard Deviation(s): The error bars are in the number of standarddeviation units that you specify. (Excel calculates the standard deviation of the data series.)
  • Standard Error: The error bars are one standard error unit. (Excel calculates the standard error of the data series.)
  • Custom: You set the error bar units for the upper or lower error bars. You can enter either a value or a range reference that holds the error values that you want to plot as error bars.

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