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How To Make a Pictograph in Excel

In this post, I will show you how to make a pictograph in excel using a bar chart.

My idea to make a pictograph is to present the number of employees in various age groups in a company. I am just trying to click an idea to use a picture in a chart to make it more meaningful.

But, you can use this technique in your own way. And, please share your views with me.

Steps To Make a Pictograph In Excel

I am using following data to create a pictograph. Data represents the age group of employees in a department. You can download it from here to follow along.

Data To Create Picotgraph In Excel

Before starting to create this you need an icon to use in this chart, you can download it from a free icon site.

And, your final chart will look something like this. Well, I have used option buttons with it to make an interactive chart.

Make a Pictograph in Excel

So let’s get started & just follow these simple steps to create this pictogram in excel.

Insert a bar Graph To Create A Pictograph in excel

  •  Now, select data bars & go to format data series option. Right Click → Format Data Series Option

Select Format Options To Create a Pictograph

  • Go to Fill & Line Section.
  • In-fill section, select Picture or Texture Fill & you will get insert picture options.

Select Picture & Fill To Create Pictograph In Excel

  • Now, It’s time to insert a picture. You have three options to insert a picture to replace the bar with a picture.
    • Upload file from your PC.
    • Copy a picture from the clipboard.
    • Insert from one drive or search online using Bing Search.
  • Once you insert your picture, you have further three options to show that picture in your chart.
    • Stretch – A single image will stretch in data bar. Not a good idea.
    • Stack – You will get stacked images in the data bar. Images will not show as per data.
    • Stack & Scale With – Images will show as per data. For example: against 10 numbers you will get 10 images.
  • Once you made your preferences, you will get a decent pictogram.

Finally You Have A Pictograph In Excel

Different Picture For Each Bar

You can also use a different image in your pictograph for each bar. In the chart below, I have used different pictures to represent women and men.

How To Make a Pictograph in Excel Using Different Pictures

For applying different picture for each bar all you have to do, just select single bar first then insert an image and then do the same for next bar.

Things To Remember

  • The size of the chart matters. If you have large numbers try to convert them in thousand or million.
  • Make sure your picture is not so narrow or wide so that it can look good.
  • If you are using this method where you have variation in data. Might be you will have to face some problem. Comparing 10 with 200 is not good in this case.

Sample File

download sample file to learn about how to create pictograph in excel


The bottom line about pictograph is you can create some awesome visuals about data with inserting a pictures. To make a pictograph in excel you just need a right situation.

Apart from its limited use, it has a cool look. But, one thing you have to take care, don’t do it over. A user is more concerned about the numbers of your chart, not with the pictures.

Now the ball is in your court. Tell me what do you think about it. Have you ever did a pictograph? Or you didn’t know about a pictograph before reading this post.

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