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Use a 2-D bar graph to quickly compare data in a simple yet visually interesting way.

2-D bar graph

Create a 2-D bar graph

  1. Start Visio.

  2. In the Business category or template, click Charts and Graphs or Marketing Charts and Diagrams.

  3. From Charting Shapes, drag a Bar graph 1 or Bar graph 2 shape onto the drawing page.

  4. Select the number of bars you want (from 1 to 12), and then click OK.

  5. To add a title to the graph, from Charting Shapes, drag a Text block shape onto the page. With the shape selected, type a title.


    • In the Bar graph 1 shape, bars represent numerical quantities. In the Bar graph 2 shape, bars represent percentages.

    • If you need more than 12 bars in your graph, place two or more bar graph shapes side by side.

Change the number of bars

  1. Right-click the bar graph shape and click Set Number of Bars.

  2. Click the Number of Bars arrow and select from 1 to 12 bars.

    Note: If you need more than 12 bars in your graph, position two or more bar graph shapes side by side.

Set the width and height of the bars

  1. Click the bar graph to select it.

  2. Drag the control handle at the bottom right corner of the first bar, until the bars are the width you want.

  3. Drag the control handle at the top left corner on the left side of the bar graph, until the tallest bar is the height you want.

    Tip: To see a tip about a control handle for a selected shape, pause the pointer over the control handle.

Set the color for each bar

  1. Select the bar graph, and then click an individual bar to subselect it.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Fill, and then select the color you want.

Add value and name labels

  1. From Charting Shapes, drag the Y-axis label shape onto the drawing page. Line it up at the x- and y-axis origin, so that its horizontal line is flush with the x-axis.

    Tip: To zoom in, hold down CTRL+SHIFT and click the graph.

  2. With the Y-axis label shape selected, press CTRL+D to create a copy. Position the second label toward the top of the y-axis, so that its horizontal line is flush with the highest value.

    Tip: To nudge a shape into position, select the shape and then press the arrow key that represents the direction you want.

  3. Repeat to create labels for additional values along the y-axis.

  4. Select each label shape, and then type the value or name that corresponds to the shape's position on the axis.

  5. Repeat steps 2 through 4 using X-axis label shapes, positioning them along the x-axis.

Create a 3-D bar graph

Insert a chart

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