How to Add Error Bars to a Line Chart in Microsoft Excel

In this article, you will learn how to add error bars. Error bars is a great feature in Excel that provides flexibility to the user to show detail to a chart. We can use error bars to show variability in the KPI’s which are plotted in the chart.

Let us take an example to understand:

We have Sales Report that contains Month, Forecast Sales & Actual Sales.


Click on any cell in the above table of data.

Click on Insert tab

From Charts group, click on Line Charts


Select Line with Markers option


Assign name to the Chart (Sales Chart)


Click on the Forecast Sales Line (Blue Line)& click on Chart Elements on the upper right hand corner (plus sign)

Select Error Bars, you will find three options to select

Standard Error, Percentage, Standard Deviation & More options


If we click on Standard error then, the Chart will look like this:


If you click on More Options, you will find the following Error bar options


In Vertical Error bar, we can show the error bar by Minus, Plus & both as well.
There are various Error Amount available for selection like Fixed value, Percentage, Standard deviation, Standard error, Custom, etc.


With Custom option, you can show custom error value that you want it to appear.
There are lots of different options available like Line color, transparency, width, etc.


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