Download the free chart template 👉 HERE and follow along.

Steps to Create an Infographic or Pictogram in Excel

Step 1: Set Up Your Data Table

First, prepare your data table in Excel. You need a column for male values and a column for female values.

Also add a separate series for the 100% total.

Step 2: Insert a Clustered Column Chart

Highlight your data and go to Insert > 2D Column > Clustered Column Chart.

Insert a Clustered Column Chart

This will create a basic chart with grouped columns for male and female data.

Step 3: Add Icons for Pictogram

To add Excel icons:

  • Go to the Insert tab and select Icons.
  • Choose male and female icons from the library.
  • Insert these icons into your worksheet.
Icons in Excel

Step 4: Format Your Icons

Once the icons are in the chart:

  • Adjust the icon size and outline using the Format tab (size, outline, fill color).
format excel icons
  • Duplicate the icons for different series and apply formatting.
  • In the end, you need these icons:
    • Female with fill color
    • Female without fill color, just an outline
    • Male with fill color
    • Male without fill color, just an outline

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Step 5: Transfer Empty Icons to Data Series

To replace columns with icons without fill color:

  • Copy the icon without fill color by clicking on it and pressing Ctrl + C.
  • Select the series in your chart by clicking it two times to ensure only one column is selected (either male or female).
  • Press Ctrl + V to replace the column with the icon.
  • Repeat for the other icon without fill color, making sure each series uses the correct icon.

💡 You can also enhance a chart by inserting a picture (such as a business logo) in the chart area. You can highlight chart elements like the chart area, plot area, or data markers. This applies to column, bar, area, bubble, 3-D line, and filled radar charts. Also, you can add pictures to the legend in 2-D and 3-D charts. You can also copy it onto elements like data markers in 2-D line, scatter charts, or unfilled radar charts. If a picture is no longer needed, you can remove it.

Step 6: Adjust Icon Width

Change the gap width to make icons wider:

  • Select the chart series with the icons
  • Right click on the series and select Format Data Series (or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + 1).
  • Set Gap Width to 0%.
create infographic in excel

Step 7: Transfer Icons with Fill Color to Data Series

To transfer the filled icons:

  • Copy the filled icon and select the series you want to change.
  • Click the series twice so only one column is selected.
  • Press Ctrl + V to paste the icon.
  • Notice the icon shrinks instead of retaining its full size.
  • To change this into a cut-off version depending on the value, go to Format Series Options.
  • Under Fill, select the Stack and Scale with option.
infographic in excel - stack and scale with
  • Repeat this for the Male Filled series.
infographic in excel

Step 8: Format the Chart Axis

Set the vertical axis to 100%:

Go to Format Axis > Axis Options > Maximum = 1.0

Step 9: Overlap the Series

To create a layered effect:

  • Set Series Overlap to 100% under Series Options.
infographic in excel - series overlap

💡 By default, the series that does the final overlap (or is seen on top) is the last series in the data table. To switch this, right-click on the series and go to Select Data. Select the series to be moved and click on the up or down arrows.

Step 10: Final Touches

Polish your infographic in Excel by:

  • Removing vertical axis labels.
  • Adding or removing horizontal axis labels.
  • Removing gridlines.
  • Adding a chart title and data labels.

For data labels:

  • Click the ‘+’ and check the box for data labels.
  • Got to Format Data Labels and format them to show values from cells.
  • Highlight the values for the filled series.
  • Uncheck the Value option on the Format Data Labels options.
infographic in excel - data labels

For older versions of Excel

Double-click on the data label to select a single data label and go to the formula bar. Do a cell reference to the value to be displayed.

For more Excel chart tips, read this article.

Download the Workbook

Enhance your learning experience by downloading our chart template. Practice the techniques discussed in real-time and master pictograms in Excel Excel with hands-on examples. Download the Excel infographic template here and start applying what you’ve learned directly in Excel.

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Leila Gharani

I'm a 6x Microsoft MVP with over 15 years of experience implementing and professionals on Management Information Systems of different sizes and nature.

My background is Masters in Economics, Economist, Consultant, Oracle HFM Accounting Systems Expert, SAP BW Project Manager. My passion is teaching, experimenting and sharing. I am also addicted to learning and enjoy taking online courses on a variety of topics.