What Is a Column Chart? A Complete Guide with Examples

This brief explains what column charts are, their benefits, and how to create them. Learn more with the potential examples.

In this article
  1. What Is a Column Chart?
  2. How to Make a Column Chart in Minutes?
  3. Column Chart Templates
  4. Column Chart Customization to Meet Specific Data Visualization Needs
  5. Ending Note

Data visualization is very common these days. Even if your job does not require dealing with the data, you must have seen some charts or graphs in the surroundings. The reason behind this fact is that the visual representation of the data is part of almost every sector, including but not limited to advertising, media, politics, and news.

This is why you should be familiar with interpreting charts and graphs. Charts come in different types, but this guide focuses explicitly on column charts. To help you understand this subject, this article comprehensively discusses what a column chart is with column chart examples, its benefits, and an efficient way to create it.

column charts

Part 1. What Is a Column Chart?

Representing categorical data with vertical columns to show trends and comparisons is called a column chart. You can use it interchangeably with the bar chart but the one with vertical columns.

Using column charts makes it easy for every type of audience to understand complex data quickly. During the recent pandemic, you must have seen thousands of column charts showing the number of people affected and deaths.

You can display your data with both 2D and 3D column charts. However, a 3D chart presents your data in a more appealing and meaningful way. These charts can be created with different tools, like Power BI and Wondershare EdrawMax.

How Does this Chart Work?

A column chart displays your data in rectangles so that comparing different items becomes easy. These rectangles are known as vertical bars. No matter how complex your data is, a column chart arranges it in an easily understandable way. This is what everyone looks for. A column chart is shown below.

column chart

The Type of Data a Column Chart Can Visualize

Any data that needs a clean comparison can be visualized using a column chart. This is why millions of people from across the globe use this chart whenever they need to compare different items, events, or tasks over a specific period.

Types of Column Charts

The column chart has different types, of which the most common ones are as follows.

  • Radial column chart
  • Grouped column chart
  • Stacked column chart
  • Traditional column chart
  • Radial column chart

Key Benefits of Using a Column Chart for Data Visualization

Column charts offer a wide range of benefits in data visualization. A few of them are listed below.

  • You can use a column chart to show the proportions of different categories.
  • This chart is ideal if you want to do a time series analysis.
  • It makes visualization better by summarizing various data sets.
  • The column chart can estimate the fundamental values precisely.
  • You can understand complex trends easily with a column chart.
  • It enables you to use a frequency distribution to display every data set.

Part 2. How to Make a Column Chart in Minutes?

Do you want to make a column chart similar to the ones mentioned above? Don’t know which tool to use for better output? Give Wondershare EdrawMax a shot, an online free diagramming tool boasting tons of templates with which you can easily get started.


Download and install EdrawMax on your laptop or computer. Once done, launch the tool and sign in.


Now, tap on “New” and click on the “Graphs and Charts” option. Then, choose “Column,” as shown below.

create column charts with edrawmax

It is time to explore the template gallery and select the template that suits your needs the best. The availability of a decent collection of pre-made templates makes it easy for you to make column charts in a matter of minutes.

column chart templates in edrawmax

You can now import data in CSV or XSLX files and customize your chart.


Once your column chart is ready, you can export and save it on your device. For this, click “File” and hit the “Export & Send” option. You can choose different file formats, like Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Visio, JPG, and more.

send and export column chart with edrawmax

If you need some visual assistance in making column charts quickly, don't forget to watch the video below. It presents detailed guidance for you to complete the task within minutes.

Features that Make EdrawMax Stand Out in the Market

The factors listed below have proven to be an excellent tool to set EdrawMax apart from other traditional utilities.

  • It comes with eye-catching graphics and a superb user interface.
  • A wide range of column chart pre-made temples are available.
  • EdrawMax takes visualization to the next level.
  • It has started offering a number of AI-powered features.
  • Trusted by over 30 million users worldwide
  • You can use a free trial initially to get familiar with its potential.

Part 3. Column Chart Templates

Below are three column chart examples from the templates community of EdrawMax that will help you understand the importance of this diagram very well. Click the diagrams to edit them.

1. Grouped Column Chart

This chart is also known as a multi-series chart that uses two variables to plot numerical values. It is also known as a clustered column chart. If you run a business and are looking forward to describing your sales cycle, a grouped column chart is a perfect solution for this job. The chart below displays different items sold by various stores in different spots. Try this column chart example and make edits, keeping your requirements in mind.

groped column chart

2. Grouped Column Chart

You can use this column chart example to perform a part-to-whole comparison across different categories or over a specific period of time. The stacked column chart uses vertical bars to display data series stored one above the other, as you can see in the image below.

Measuring the total length of a column is easy, so you can measure the change over a time period easily with this chart. The below figure presents three different series stacked in a single vertical column to perform a quick comparison.

stacked column chart

3. Curved Growth Column Chart

This column chart example presents six categories with a curved arrow on top of the vertical bars, as you can see in the figure below. You can add the description and header according to your needs while editing this template.

Moreover, you can replace each text section with your preferred content. If you want to change the background color, it is also possible. The curve in the diagram shows the gradual growth.

curve growth column chart

Part 4: Column Chart Customization to Meet Specific Data Visualization Needs

Though the customization may vary depending on the user's needs, there are some common parameters that you need to keep in mind when customizing your column charts.

Firstly, you need to import your data to make the chart accordingly. Later, you can edit text, symbols, themes, etc. In addition, changing color schemes is also part of column chart customization.

Ending Note

The field of data visualization has been on the rise these days, as it makes data analysis easy over time. The comparison between a number of trends and items becomes meaningful with a column chart.

Using text format or tables to present the data may create confusion, but column charts make data visualization understandable and immediate.

The discussion above has listed 3 column chart examples to help you understand this subject in a better way. If you want to create a column chart, try none other than Wondershare EdrawMax.

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Edraw Team
Edraw Team May 23, 24
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