How could I make a chart similar to the one below?

the chart

Of course, I could use an app like Microsoft Paint, but that would be too time-consuming and awkward. What would be a simple way to do this?

  • 4
    This type of chart is called a pictograph.
    – Rajib
    Dec 1, 2013 at 17:47
  • 1
    @Rajib or an Infographic is corporate speak. Dec 1, 2013 at 19:56

4 Answers 4


You can get close in Excel:

Create your graph, as you normally would by selected your data points and inserting a graph.

Once you have your graph, select the actual graph item (In this case the bars themselves)

enter image description here

  • Now right click the bar, and choose Format Data Point
  • Go to the Fill tab
  • Check Picture or Texture Fill
  • Select your image from the File... button
  • Set Stack and Scale to units per picture to 1 if you want one image per unit in your datachart

enter image description here

You should now have your Excel Chart with images, similar to what you want.

enter image description here

There are some short comings, but it gets you close with more or less standard software.


By using a stacked bar and switching the row / column values and then changing the 2 fill pattern to a new Orange stick figure, I was easily able to get closer:

enter image description here

Thanks to @Rik for the suggestion.

  • 1
    I'd prefer something more visually appealing.
    – Miscreant
    Dec 1, 2013 at 17:33
  • 7
    realize this took 20 seconds in Excel and paint to make the stick figures. Making it look more refined would not be hard, starting with a more professional base graphic. Dec 1, 2013 at 17:36
  • 1
    +1 - Love the stick figurines ;) @Miscreant With it you should be able to create something like this or this. Not sure if you can get a different color per line. You also may want to look into this article from Microsoft mentioning a free "People Graph app v1.1 for Excel 2013". I didn't post that as a separate answer because i think this one works good enough (and i don't have Office2013 handy to test it myself)
    – Rik
    Dec 1, 2013 at 19:08
  • @Rik to get different colors per lines, you can edit each bar and use a different image. So for my stick figures, I could use flood fill for the black lines and paint it blue, red etc and save a new image / color for each bar. So doable for sure. Dec 1, 2013 at 19:49

Here is another solution using Excel 2013.
All credits go to Rik who mentioned the People Graph app in a comment.

enter image description here

  1. Installation:

    • Navigate to the People Graph app site with your internet browser
    • Login with your Microsoft account
    • Click "Add"

  2. Open Excel 2013 and write these values in the first 4 cells (A1:B2) enter image description here

  3. Click "Insert" at the ribbon bar and choose "Apps for Office" enter image description here

  4. Select "People Graph" and click "Insert"

    • Hover over the app window, click the table icon and press the "Select your data" button enter image description here

    • Select your data

    • You also have the ability to change the diagram's title (I chose "What do they like?" in the first picture)

  5. You can play with the pre-defined themes, colors or cliparts by clicking on the wrench icon enter image description here

  • 1
    Exporting the chart as an image file: right-click it and choose "Save Picture As".
    – Miscreant
    Dec 2, 2013 at 12:40

If you can find a nice Unicode character to represent your figures, you can use Excel's REPT formula:

=REPT("☺", 8)

Just zoom in in Excel (or change font size) et voila!


These style of images are generally called infographics. Unless you're looking for something dynamic or programmatically generated, I would forego the Excel suggestions, and focus on something like Photoshop or GIMP.

The caveat being, the skills to use these programs, or at least make the end product to look good, will take time to develop. Which can be it's own kind of reward.

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