Graphing Using Excel Sample Problem
Mr. Francis J. DeHoratius



The purpose of this exercise is to familiarize you with the use of the program Excel as an adjunct to your laboratory reports. Excel will allow you to report data and do graphs in a more clear way than doing the same task without using Excel. Throughout the year all graphs that are part of laboratory reports must be done using Excel or a similar program.

You will need to hand in a copy of the results from this exercise before you leave the laboratory today. Keep in mind that your results must match mine exactly. You need to show me the results (printout) before continuing on to the graphing exercise which is also on my website. The graphing exercise is the second part of the laboratory exercise today.

  1. Launch the Excel program, which is part of the Office suite of programs;



  2. Be sure that the left section of the above window has Blank Documents highlighted and the right section has Excel Workbook highlighted. Both of these are the defaults and should be highlighted when the window appears.



  3. Enter the data, as above, starting at the upper left of the grid, making sure that you bold the titles of each column;



  4. To bold the title of the columns, select both words, time and temperature, and then click on the B button which is to the right of the word Palatino as indicated in the picture above. Then highlight both columns and choose the center button which is four buttons to the right of the B button you just used. This will center the titles and numbers in the columns.
  5. From the file dropdown menu at the top of the Excel window, choose page setup. You will see a window similar to the one below.



  6. Click on the Header/Footer button at the top of the window and you will see the following window:



  7. Click on the button Customize Header and you will see the following window:



  8. Click on the box labelled Left section and type your name, followed by the word and, press the return key and then type your partner's name. Press the tab key and your cursor should appear in the center box labelled Center section. Type the following: Problem # Sample. When you do the problems in the graphing exercise you will replace the word Sample with the number of the problem. Press the tab key and your cursor should appear in the right box labelled Right section. Type today's date. Your screen should look similar to the following:



  9. Next click on the OK button and you will be returned to the window seen under number 6 above. Click on the sheet button at the top of the window and you should see the following window:



  10. About half way down the window you will see the word Gridlines with an unchecked box to the left. Click on the box to the left of the word Gridlines. The resulting window should look like the following:



  11. Click on the button OK and you will be returned to the your data.
  12. Select the temperature column, including the word temperature, by positioning your cursor over the word temperature, clicking and holding the mouse button and dragging down to the last number in the column. Your data should look like the data below.



  13. Click on the chart wizard in the toolbar and you will see the window shown below:



  14. Be sure to click on the "line" choice in the left box and you will see the following screen:



  15. On the right side, click on the graph in the second row, second column.
  16. Click on the next button and you will see the window below:



  17. Click on the Series button near the top and you will see:



  18. At the bottom of the window you see the words, “Category (X) axis labels:” followed by an empty box and then an icon. Click on that icon and you will be returned to your data on the spreadsheet but you will also have a small window that will look like the following:



  19. If this window blocks your data columns, click and drag using the title bar to move it aside.
  20. Click and drag down the time column -- do NOT include the word time -- only the measurements. The small window will now look like the following:



  21. Click on the icon to the right of this small window and you will be returned to the chart wizard window that looks like the following:



  22. Click on the Next button in the above window and you will see the following window:



  23. Fill in the Chart title box with the words Temperature v Time and the Category (X) axis: box with the word Time; the resulting window should look like the following:



  24. Then click on the next button and you will see the following window:



  25. Be sure the radio button to the left of the words “As object in:” is blackened by clicking on the radio button; the window to the right of the words As new sheet: may say Chart1 or something similar; it is not important. Click on the finish button. You should then see the following graph along with your data table or something similar:



  26. It will be necessary to separate the graph and the data and still keep them both on the same page. To do this click on the file pull down menu and choose page setup. Click on the radio button to the left of the landscape icon and click on the OK button.
  27. Click somewhere in the area of the graph and then hold your mouse button down and your cursor should change to a hand; drag the graph to the side of the data so that it does not obscure any of the data.
  28. You should line up the graph so that its left side corresponds to the right side of the temperature column.
  29. If the graph is too wide, place your cursor at the bottom right corner and click and hold your mouse button. The cursor should change to a rectangle/square. Before you do anything, hold the shift key down and then move the cursor upward and to the left. This will decrease the size of the graph but it will constrain all sides and the resulting graph will not be distorted. DO NOT MAKE THE GRAPH TOO SMALL. It should appear as in the picture below:



  30. Click anywhere outside of the area of the graph so that the small squares disappear at the corners of the graph and along the midpoints of each side.
  31. Go to the file pull down menu at the top of the window and choose print. The default printer should be the one in the chemistry lab. Be sure to indicate two copies - one for you and one for your partner.
  32. Print your data/graph and both should be on the same sheet.
  33. When you have your copies, bring them to Mr. D and have him check to be sure that it is done correctly. If they are you may go on to the graphing exercise on prepchem.org.
  34. You must finish this sample before you leave the computer lab.