As per Wikipedia, a chart is "a visual representation of data, in which the data are represented by symbols such as bars in a bar chart or lines in a line chart. A chart can represent tabular numeric data, functions or some kinds of qualitative structures."

Creating a chart or graph can be a chore if you are not confident in your ability to do so. Fortunately, Microsoft's Excel spreadsheet programme comes standard with a Chart Wizard that greatly simplifies the process of creating charts and graphs. The advantage of converting numerical data into a chart is that a chart often makes it easier to understand the data in a worksheet because users can easily pick out patterns and trends illustrated in the chart that are otherwise difficult to see.

Once you have entered the data in an Excel worksheet, there are just four steps to creating the chart or graph you require, with various options along the way that allow you to select the type of chart you want to use, select your data, and add formatting and titles for the finer detail and finished product.

The four steps to producing a chart using the Excel Chart Wizard are:

Step 1 - Chart Type

From the 'Insert' drop down box select the 'Charts' tab. There are two tabs in step 1 of the Wizard: 'Standard Types' and 'Custom Types'. Working under the 'Standard Types' tab, select the chart type of your choice, from a selection of fourteen different types, and then select the chart sub-type. Click 'next' to move on to step 2.

Step 2 - Chart Source Data

Here you will select the data by clicking on the data-range icon which will allow you to select the cells that contain the data and labels you want to include in your chart. Click 'next' to move on to step 3.

Step 3 - Chart Options

In this step you are able to modify the appearance of your chart by selecting from the 6 tabs in this step. You can add titles to the chart and choose from a variety of chart options such as adding or altering data labels, axes, gridlines, and a legend. You can preview the chart as you alter it to ensure it looks the way you want it to. Once you have completed this step click 'next' to move on to step 4.

Step 4 - Chart Location

In this last step you will select the location in which to place your chart by either selecting to locate it as a new sheet, or as an object on the same page as the data being utilised.

Once these 4 simple steps have been completed and you have created the chart that will best represent the data you require presented you click on the 'finish' tab. If at any stage you want to modify the appearance of you chart you simply right-click on the chart and then select from the options for modification. You can reformat the chart by changing the chart type, the data range, the different chart options, and the location at which your chart is displayed.

To learn more about Excel and chart creation and modification an excel-xp-training course will educate you in all you need to know.