How to Make a Bell Curve in Excel: Example + Template


A “bell curve” is the nickname given to the shape of a normal distribution, which has a distinct “bell” shape:

Bell curve example

This tutorial explains how to make a bell curve in Excel for a given mean and standard deviation and even provides a free downloadable template that you can use to make your own bell curve in Excel.

Example: Bell Curve in Excel

Use the following steps to make a bell curve in Excel.

Step 1: Create cells for the mean and standard deviation.

Bell curve template in Excel

Step 2: Create cells for percentiles from -4 to 4, in increments of 0.1.

Percentiles for bell curve in Excel

. . .

Percentiles for bell curve in Excel

Step 3: Create a column of data values to be used in the graph.

bell curve data values in Excel

Step 4: Find the values for the normal distribution pdf.

Bell curve pdf values in Excel

Step 5: Create x-axis plot labels for only the integer percentiles.

bell curve axis labels in Excel

Step 6: Make the bell curve.

First, highlight all of the values in the pdf column:

Bell curve pdf values in Excel

Then, in the Charts group on the Insert tab, click the first plot option in the Insert Line or Area Chart category:

Bell curve plot in Excel

A bell curve will automatically appear:

Bell curve in Excel

Step 7: Modify the x-axis labels.

Right click anywhere on the chart and click Select Data. A new window will pop up. Click on the Edit button under Horizontal Axis Labels:

Modify x-axis labels on bell curve in Excel

Select the range of cells where the x-axis labels are located. In our case, it’s cell range D5:D85. Then click OK.

bell curve with x-axis labels in Excel

The x-axis labels will update automatically :

Bell curve with labels in Excel

You’ll notice that if you change the mean and standard deviation, the bell curve will update automatically. For example, here’s what the bell curve turns into if we use mean = 10 and standard deviation = 2:

bell curve in Excel

Feel free to modify the chart title, add axis labels, and change the color if you’d like to make the chart more aesthetically pleasing.

Free Template

Feel free to download this free template that was used to make the exact bell curve in this tutorial.

Additional Resources

An Introduction to the Normal Distribution
Normal CDF Calculator
How to Plot a Normal Distribution in R

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