A Comprehensive Guide to Creating Bar Graphs (2023)

Bar graphs are an essential tool for visualizing complex data and conveying information effectively. Whether you're a student, researcher, or business professional, understanding how to create and use bar graphs can greatly enhance your ability to communicate data and findings. In this comprehensive guide, we will introduce you to the different types of bar graphs and provide step-by-step instructions on how to create your own using the Visme Graph Engine.

What is a Bar Graph?

A bar graph, also known as a bar chart, is a visual representation of data using bars of varying heights or lengths. It is commonly used to compare measures, such as frequency or amount, for distinct categories of data. A typical bar graph consists of labels, scales, axes, and bars. The categories being compared are plotted on one axis, while the measured values are represented by bars of different lengths on the other axis.

Types of Bar Graphs

Bar graphs come in various types, each suited for different data sets and purposes. Let's explore some of the major types of bar graphs:

1. Vertical Bar Graphs

The most commonly used type of bar chart is the vertical bar graph. In this type, the bars are plotted vertically, with the height of each bar representing the measured value for a specific category. The taller the bar, the larger the category. Vertical bar graphs are simple and easy to understand, making them ideal for a wide range of applications.

Example: Consider a bar graph showing the top 10 podcast publishers in the US, with the unique monthly US audience as the measured value. The vertical bar graph clearly displays the audience size for each publisher, allowing for easy comparison.

2. Horizontal Bar Graphs

Horizontal bar graphs are useful when the distinct categories on the vertical axis have long titles or when there are too many categories to fit at the bottom. In this type of bar graph, the categories are plotted on the vertical axis, while the measured values are represented by bars of varying lengths on the horizontal axis.

Example: Imagine a horizontal bar graph illustrating the cultural events attended by people in Britain between 1999-2000. The graph reveals that the cinema was the most popular event during that period, as it has the tallest bar.

3. Grouped Bar Graphs

Grouped bar graphs are employed when each categorical group has two or more bars. This type of graph helps display information about different sub-groups within a categorical group. A consistent color scheme is used to represent each sub-group throughout the chart.

Example: Let's say a store owner named Adam wants to graphically represent the profit generated from his three stores (A, B, and C) during the first four months of 2017. The months serve as the independent categories, while the profits generated are plotted on the y-axis. Each month's bar is further divided into sub-categories representing the profits from each store.

4. Stacked Bar Graphs

Stacked bar graphs are another way to represent information about sub-groups within a main categorical group. In this type of graph, each bar represents a category, and segments within the bar represent parts of that category. Stacked bar graphs are particularly useful for illustrating the composition of a whole group.

Example: Suppose a hardware store owner wants to graphically represent the items sold by her employees in January 2019. The independent variable is the employee's name, while the number of items sold serves as the dependent variable. Each bar in the graph represents a category (employee), and the segments within the bar represent the items sold (sub-groups).

Creating a Bar Graph Using the Visme Graph Engine

Now that you have a good understanding of the different types of bar graphs, let's explore how to create one using the Visme Graph Engine. Visme is a cloud-based design software that allows you to create professional-looking graphs, charts, and other graphics right in your browser. Follow these steps to create your own bar graph:

Method 1: Using a Bar Graph Template

  1. Sign in to your Visme account and open your dashboard.
  2. Click on "Create" in the left-hand sidebar and select "Infographics."
  3. Type "bar graphs" into the search box to browse through a collection of editable bar graph templates.
  4. Choose a template that suits your needs and click on "Edit" to customize it.
  5. Within the Visme editor, you can easily edit the bar graph data and replace it with your own. Click on the bar graph and then click on "Settings" at the top to access the graph engine.
  6. You can manually enter your data or import it directly from an Excel file or Google sheet.
  7. As you input your data, you'll see a live preview of your bar graph on the left side of the graph engine.
  8. Customize the bar graph's colors, labels, fonts, and more to create your desired visual representation. You can also enable animation to enhance the graph's visual appeal.
  9. Once you're satisfied with your bar graph, click on "Update" to insert it into your visual.
  10. Add any additional text or graphic elements around your bar graph, customize the background and title, and make any necessary adjustments.
  11. When you're ready, download your bar graph in image or PDF format by clicking on the "Download" button. You can also share it with others using a link or embed it on your website or blog.

Method 2: Using the Graph Maker

If you can't find a suitable bar graph template in Visme, you can create your own from scratch using the graph maker. Follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to your Visme account and click on "Create" in the left-hand sidebar.
  2. Instead of choosing a ready-made template, click on "Custom Size" and enter the dimensions that work for you.
  3. Once inside the Visme editor, navigate to the left-hand sidebar and click on "Data," then select "Charts."
  4. You'll see a vertical bar graph on the left and customizable settings on the right. Use these settings to design your unique bar graph.
  5. Enter your data manually or upload it from an Excel file or Google sheet.
  6. Customize the bar graph's colors, labels, fonts, sizes, and other visual elements until you're satisfied with its appearance.
  7. Click on "Insert" to add the bar graph to your visual.
  8. Place the bar graph wherever you want on the canvas and add a title, subtitle, and other text content as needed.
  9. Enhance your graph by adding icons, shapes, images, or other graphic elements. Customize colors, fonts, and backgrounds to make your graph visually appealing.
  10. When you're finished, download your bar graph in your preferred format (JPG, PNG, or PDF) and use it independently or as part of a presentation or report. You can also share it online or embed it on your website or blog.


Bar graphs are a powerful tool for visualizing data and conveying information effectively. By understanding the different types of bar graphs and how to create them using the Visme Graph Engine, you can easily communicate complex data and findings to your audience. Whether you're a student, researcher, or business professional, mastering the art of creating bar graphs will greatly enhance your ability to analyze and present data. Start using bar graphs today and unlock the potential of your data visualization skills.

Start creating your own bar graphs with Visme and take your data visualization to the next level!

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