A Direct Guide to Adjust Histogram Bin Ranges in Excel

July 27, 2023 4.8K views

Histograms are essential charts for visualizing frequency data. However, adjusting the bin range in an Excel histogram can be challenging for some users. In this article, we will provide a clear and straightforward guide on adjusting the bin range and explain the significance of an Excel histogram chart.

Part 1:What is a Histogram Chart in Excel

A histogram chart in Excel is a visual representation of data that shows the distribution and frequency of values in a dataset. It consists of bins, which group data points into ranges, and the bin range determines the width of each bin. Understanding these components is essential for creating meaningful histogram charts in Excel.

Part 2: How to Adjust the Histogram Bin Range in Excel?

Fine-tuning the bin range is a critical step in creating an informative histogram chart in Excel. In Part 2, we will provide a comprehensive step-by-step guide on adjusting the histogram bin range. With easy-to-follow instructions and illustrative pictures, you'll be able to create well-defined bins that effectively represent your data.

Here is step by step:

Step 1: Open Excel and Prepare Your Data

  • Launch Microsoft Excel and open your data spreadsheet.

  • Organize your data into a single column or row.

Step 2: Go to Data Analysis ToolPak

  • The “Data” tab will appear in the Excel ribbon.

  • Find and click on "Data Analysis" in the "Analysis" group.

  • If not installed, click "Add-Ins," check "Analysis ToolPak," and click "OK."

Step 3: Choose Histogram and Click "OK"

  • Pick “Histogram” in the Data Analysis dialog box.

  • Click "OK" to proceed.

Step 4: Select the Input Range and Bin Range

  • Choose your data range by clicking the "Input Range" box.

  • Highlight the data and click "OK."

  • For the bin range, click the "Bin Range" box and select the bin cells.

Step 5: Specify Output Options

  • Select where you want the histogram chart to appear.

  • Check "Chart Output" for a chart with the histogram table.

Step 6: Click "OK" to Generate the Histogram

  • Click "OK" after specifying output options.

  • Excel will generate the histogram chart and table.

Adjusting the Bin Range to Start at 0:

Step 1: Select the X-Axis and Format Axis Options

  • Click on the x-axis of your histogram chart to select it.

  • Right-click and choose "Format Axis."

Step 2: Set the Minimum Bounds to 0

  • Go to “Axis Options” in the Format Axis window.

  • Under "Bounds," set "Minimum" to 0.

  • Close the Format Axis pane.

With these easy steps, you can adjust the histogram bin range in Excel and create insightful visualizations for data analysis.

Part 3: Why Can’t I Adjust the Histogram Bin Range in Excel?

Encountering difficulties in adjusting the histogram bin range? In Part 3, we'll address common issues that users may face when adjusting bin ranges in Excel. By identifying and troubleshooting these problems, you'll overcome obstacles and gain the skills to create accurate histogram charts.

Here are the issues you may face:

  1. Incorrect Data Selection: Make sure you choose the correct data range for the histogram. Choose every piece of information you want to use.

  2. Incorrect Bin Range: Ensure the bin range covers your entire data and is suitable for representing the distribution.

  3. Overlapping Bins: Avoid overlapping bins, as they can distort the histogram and misrepresent the data.

  4. Manual Calculation Errors: Use Excel's built-in histogram tool or verified formulas to determine the bin range accurately.

  5. Chart Formatting: Check the chart formatting, such as the x-axis display and data labels, to ensure accuracy.

  6. Data Understanding: Understand your data distribution before selecting the bin range.

  7. Hidden Data or Empty Cells: Ensure all relevant data is visible and complete, avoiding hidden or empty cells.



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1. How do I determine the appropriate bin range for a histogram in Excel?

To determine the appropriate bin range for a histogram in Excel:

Step 1. Understand your data's distribution.

Step 2. Decide on the number of bins (5 to 20 is typical).

Step 3. Calculate the bin width by dividing the data range by the number of bins.

Step 4. Round the bin width to a convenient number.

Step 5. Choose a starting point for the first bin (usually the minimum value).

Step 6. Calculate the upper limit of each bin by adding the bin width to the starting point.

Step 7. Adjust for outliers, if necessary.

Step 8. Verify that the bin ranges cover the entire data range and are logically organized.

Experiment with different bin ranges to find the one that best represents your data's pattern. Alternatively, Excel's Data Analysis ToolPak can automatically calculate the bin ranges for you.

2. What is the automatic bin range selection feature in Excel histograms?

The automatic bin range selection feature in Excel histograms automatically determines the best bin sizes based on your data. It creates a well-balanced and informative histogram without requiring manual bin specification. This simplifies the process and ensures accurate and insightful visualizations. However, manual bin range selection is still available for more precise control when needed.


This comprehensive guide provided step-by-step instructions for adjusting histogram bin ranges in Excel. Ensure accurate data analysis with well-crafted histogram charts. Additionally, explore the powerful capabilities of WPS Office, an ideal tool for seamless data processing and analysis.

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