A histogram is usually shown in
Excel as a Column chart type (vertical bars). The labels of a Column chart are
aligned under the center of each bar, and there is no Excel feature for changing the
alignment. For continuousvalued data, a better histogram has a horizontal axis with numerical labels
aligned under the tick marks between the bars as shown below.
Click the Download button to download a ZIP file containing (a) the free XLA addin file for automatically creating a better histogram from data on an Excel worksheet and (b) the HowToInstallAddin.PDF file.
The PDF file has detailed instructions for opening or installing the TreePlan, SensIt, and SimVoi addins, and the same instructions apply to the Better Histogram XLA addin file.
You may want to use Excel's MIN and MAX worksheet functions to determine the minimum and maximum values of your data before using the Better Histogram addin, so that
you can decide on "nice" intervals for your histogram.
In the Excel worksheet containing your data, choose Tools  Better Histogram (Mac Excel 2011) or choose AddIns ribbon  Menu Commands section  Better Histogram (Windows Excel 2007, 2011, and 2013). The following dialog box appears.
The data range must be a range of
cells containing only numbers, i.e., no text. The start value must be a number
less than or equal to the minimum value of the data range. The step value must be greater
than zero. The stop value must be greater
than or equal to the maximum value of the data range. The start, step, and stop values must be chosen so that there are at
least two intervals.
When you click OK, the frequency
distribution and better histogram are created on a new worksheet. You can modify
the chart titles as you wish. If you want to modify the horizontal axis scale, it is important to align the values of the XY (Scatter) chart type with the vertical bars of the Column chart type.
(The original method for creating a better histogram using Excel 2003 is described in detail in the paper BetterHistogramsUsingExcel2003.pdf. The manual method is automated by the Better Histogram XLA addin from the ZIP file available when you click the "Download Better Histogram" button above.)
