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Complete Tutorial On How To Create A Bar Chart With SPSS Software (Step By Step)

A bar chart can provide a clear graphical representation of your data. Often in addition to inferential statistics, this chart can be used to describe data.

 For example, if you are analyzing your data in independent samples with t-test or data analysis in paired (dependent) samples with t-test or you want to do one-way or multi-way analysis of variance, you can use this chart.


If we want to use the chi-square test to perform a combined or two-way analysis of variance, we should use a cluster bar chart instead of a bar chart. (Tip: We can help you draw a cluster bar chart). The purpose of this article is to show you how to draw a bar chart with SPSS software . Before training, we draw your attention to the example we have given.


The concentration of cholesterol (a type of fatty acid) in the blood is associated with the risk of heart attack. Its high concentration is a sign of high stroke risk and low concentration is a sign of low stroke risk. If the concentration of cholesterol in the blood decreases, the risk of heart attack decreases. 

High weight or low physical activity increases the concentration of cholesterol in the blood. Exercise and weight loss help lower cholesterol, but it is not clear which is more effective. So here is a random statistical sample of overweight men for research to see if exercise works better for lowering cholesterol or losing weight. 

This statistical sample is divided into two groups: one group does exercise and physical activity (which in the bar chart we call this group “exercise”) and the other group uses a calorie-controlled diet (which in the chart) We call the column “diet”).

In order for these behavioral programs to be effective for both groups, cholesterol concentrations are averaged at the end of the work. Therefore, the dependent variable is cholesterol concentration and the independent variable is the work program of these two groups, namely exercise and diet. 

Note: This statistical sample contains data that we have obtained from our independent samples with t-test. If you wish, you can use your desired data in t-test.

Important Note: Learn Spss in a professional, principled and easy way with these training packages, without the need for a class and in less than 2 months !

Test method in SPSS:

The 13 steps you follow here show how to draw a bar chart from SPSS for the example above. (Tip: This article will help you if you want to draw a guide chart.)

Graphs> chart Builder … First click on Graphs and then on Chart Builder in the menu you see in the figure below.

Bar Charts in SPSS

You will find the following page:

Bar Charts in SPSS

In the Gallery tab, select the Bar option and select the simple bar chart icon (top left icon). Drag and drop this icon into the chart preview box.

Bar Charts in SPSS

Here you will see the following dialog boxes: Chart Builder box and Element Properties box. As you can see, the preview box is filled with a simple bar chart.

Bar Charts in SPSS

Transfer the independent variable or workflow to the box below the x-axis and the dependent variable (result) which is the cholesterol concentration into the y-axis box. Dragging and dropping the variables from the Variables box will show a preview of the chart.

Bar Charts in SPSS

Ideally we want to show the size of the data scatter and in this case we want to have an error bar with a standard deviation of +1 or -1. To do this we check the Display error bar option and then in the Error Bar Represent environment the value Check the standard deviation in the radio box and type 1 in the multiplier box.

Bar Charts in SPSS

Note: If you want to analyze your bar chart with inferential statistics, for example (t-test of independent samples, t-test of dependent samples, one-way and multivariate analysis of variance ANOVA) instead of descriptive statistics, you can use confidence intervals. 

We will explain why and show you how to do it. Click Apply. You can see the following screen. (Error bar screen in chart preview)

Bar Charts in SPSS

In this example, we do not need to do anything on the next page. This page has only a few useful settings. You can choose from optionsSPSS Chart Down Arrow  And SPSS Chart Up Arrow To return the categories category and from the section SPSS Chart Exclude ArrowUse to remove a categories. If you accidentally remove a variable from the data, clickSPSS Include ButtonYou can return it in the Exclude box.

Bar Charts in SPSS

Be aware of any changes you make Click on Apply. We want to change the y-axis label to remove MEAN and add another unit of measurement. Select “Y-Axis (Bar 1)” in the Edit Properties Of box and then change the label as follows.

Bar Charts in SPSS

Click Apply and then Ok.


Chart output

You will see the following chart in the output section:

Bar Charts in SPSS

If you have any questions in this regard, ask them quickly and easily in the comments section, maybe we can help you.