How to create data bars in Microsoft Excel for numeric values

Sometimes, a graphical representation of data helps us make quicker decisions and analyze them more efficiently. In Microsoft Excel or any other popular spreadsheet program, graphical representation of data is easy through charts, but what if there are thousands of records in a sheet? Besides data representation through charts or conditional formatting, it is also possible to directly represent fields in a record using data bars in the cells for better visibility.

That way the data bars in the cells will get updated in real time when the relevant fields in a record are updated. That said, today I will talk about how to get data bars in the cells on Microsoft Excel. This can be useful while maintaining sales target achievements, actual sales figures, and almost any other place where representation through quick graphical representation of data is necessary.

So, without any further delay, let’s get started with how to get data bars in the cells on Microsoft Excel.

Create data bars in Microsoft Excel easily

Here, we have a set of records where the marks obtained by some students in the high school are calculated out of a hundred, i.e. the percentage of marks obtained by them. We just have the roll number and the percentage of marks obtained for simplicity.

The marks are in column B, and we want the data bars in column C. The case can be different for you, but the data bars can be displayed in the same way as the steps below.

Data bars in Excel spreadsheet

In the corresponding cell in column C, C6 in our case, type in the following formula, and hit the enter key.

formula to create Data bars in Excel sheet

If the values are present as regular numeric values, just type in the following formula.


In the case of numeric values, you don’t need to multiply the value in the cell by 100.

While this might look weird at first glance, select cell C6, and change the font to ‘Playbill’. Here are the results.

How to generate percentage bars Excel

Now, simply pull down from the dot at the bottom right corner of the cell to copy the formula in the subsequent cells.

add data to a bar in Excel

So, that’s how to easily create data bars directly in cells. 

Editing the look and feel of the bars

Additionally, you can simply change the font color to your liking, and the color of the data bars will be changed instantly.

change the font color

As the data bars are recognized as text, you can format them just like any other text elements in Microsoft Excel. 

Format Data bars in Excel 60 70

Even though the tutorial is illustrated using Microsoft Excel 2021, you can achieve the same results in the older versions of Microsoft Excel, and even in Excel 2007.

If you are using Google Sheets, you execute the exact steps to create data bars there too. However, you just need to import the Playbill font style in some way as the font is not present in Google Sheets by default.

So, that’s all about how to create data bars within cells using Microsoft Excel and edit them if you need them easily. Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment on the same below.

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