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Excel for Natural Science Students

Don't be afraid of Excel. It helps visualize your data in interesting and meaningful ways. Use the tutorials posted on this guide to help you do just that, visualize your data like a boss.


Spreadsheet: A grid that is made up of rows and columns containing data.

Worksheet: A single spreadsheet that contains formulas, functions, values, text, tables, charts, and graphs.

Workbook: Contains a series of related worksheets. 

Chart Components

Excel column chart with elements labeled in green

Basic Chart Types

Column chart: Works with all data types


Bar chart: Like a column chart except turned on its side. 


Histogram: Used to show distributions of variables


Line chart: Use to show trends over time


Pie chart: Used to show proportions 


Area chart: Similar to a line chart except that the area under the line is filled in.