How to Create a Pictograph in Excel using 5 Simple Steps


If you know how to present data in an understandable and effective way, you can deliver your message strongly.

For this purpose, one of my favorite things is a PICTOGRAPH.

And in Excel, creating a pictograph is quite simple and easy.

how to make a pictograph in excel using bar chart


Today in this post, I’d like to share with you a simple step by step process to create a pictograph in Excel.

Here my idea is to present the number of employees from various age groups in a company.

Now without any further ado, let’s get started.

Simple Steps to Create a Pictograph in Excel

data to create a simple pictograph in excel

But before we start, we need an icon to use in this chart and you can download it from a free icon site.

  • First of all, just select your data to create a bar chart. For this, go to Insert ➜ Charts ➜ 2-D Clustered Bar Chart.
insert a clustered bar chart to create a pictograph in excel
  • After that, select the data bars in the chart and go to Right Click ➜ Format Data Series Option
go to data series option to create a pictograph in excel
  • From here, go to “Fill” section and select “Picture or Texture Fill” option and once you do this, you’ll get an insert picture option.
go fill section to add picture to a pictograph in excel
  • Now it’s time to insert the picture and we have three options for this. Click on the "File" option and upload the image you have downloaded.
  • Once you insert the image, you have further three options to show that picture in the chart. [Select the third option]
  1. Stretch – A single image will stretch in data bar.
  2. Stack – You will get stacked images in the data bar.
  3. Stack and Scale with – Images will be shown as per data.

Boom! our chart is ready to rock.

ready to use simple pictograph in excel

Note: There is an option to specify unit/picture for the chart. You can use it if the values per bar in your chart are large (more than 20). The thing is that the picture icons will become smaller with more numbers and this option helps in that case.

use unit per picture to stream line image in excel pictograph

You can also use a different picture for different bars, just like I have used in the below chart.

using different pictures in pictograph in excel

Select each data bar separately and insert a picture one by one for all the bars.


our ready to use dynamic pictograph in excel

Look at the below data where we have same company’s employees data, but department wise and we need to create a dynamic chart here which we can operate with option button.

data to create a dynamic pictograph in excel

You can download this file from here to follow along and now use below steps to create a dynamic pictograph.

  • First of all, create a different table with two columns, just like I have below.
create a new small table to create a dynamic pictograph in excel
connect option buttons with a cell to control dynamic pictograph
  • Since we need to control data (department wise) with option buttons make sure to name all the buttons according to the department name.
  • From here, insert below formula into the first cell (heading) to last cell of the second column of the new table. 
insert formula to create a dynamic table for pictograph
  • At this point, we have a dynamic table where we can get data by using option buttons.
now dynamic table is ready to create a pictograph in excel
  • In the end, select this table and insert a bar chart and convert it into a pictograph using the steps you have learned.

Hurry! our dynamic pictograph is here.

our ready to use dynamic pictograph in excel

Sample Files