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

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.**

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

**. . .**

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

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

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

**Step 6: Make the bell curve.**

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

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

A bell curve will automatically appear:

**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:

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

The x-axis labels will update automatically :

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:

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