Using Excel-2003 - An Introduction (Switch to Excel 2007)

Below is a listing of the tutorial modules available for help with visualizing data in Excel. All of the advanced technique modules assume that you have mastered the material in the basics section. Otherwise, the advanced techniques modules are independent of each other. This tutotial is based on the Windows-2003 version of Excel. Older, newer and Macintosh versions of Excel use similar terminology for each task but the specific items might be found in alternative windows, or the key board shortcuts and/or mouse might respond in a different way. Differences between Excel-2003 and 2007 are noted in each section.


Data Input, Formulas & Basic Formating

Inputting data values into cells, selecting and specifying ranges of cells, creating formulas to process data, and formatting data values for display.

Basic Graphs: A Scatter Plot

Basics of creating a graph from a set of data. This example creates a scatterplot and adds a line to the graph.

Worked Problem(s)

Blackbody Radiation - Using Planck's and Other Laws

Advanced Techniques

Bar Graphs and Histograms

Creating single and multiple bar graphs. Background on what a histogram is used for. Also details on how to use the FREQUENCY function to create a data set and turn it into a histogram.

Importing Text Files

Bringing raw data into Excel via a text file generated by another program, laboratory instrument or available on the internet.

Formatting Graphs

Format elements of the graph by hiding or displaying them and changing their size, color, and orientation. New elements, such as reference lines, can be added with the drawing tools.

Regression Lines

Summarizing the trend of a data set with a regression line (or curve). Shows how to calculate and display the equation for the regression line and its correlation coefficient, R-squared.

Creating Error Bars

Provides information on summarizing data with mean values and representing experimental uncertainty with error bars.


This tutorial was modifed from a site created by researchers/educators at NC State University through funding by the National Science Foundation. The primary design was by Michael Carter. Eric Wibe, Miriam Ferzil and Rosa Wallace had significant input to the tutorial as well. We thank them for their hard work and making this tuotirial availabloe on the internet. All of the mistakes in this tuotorial are mine. Please report any problems to John Halfman <>.