After spending WAY TOO MUCH TIME trying to figure out how to get excel (>2004) to display DIFFERENT ERROR BARS for values on the SAME SERIES I thought I’d save all you other poor souls looking for an answer by providing an easy step-by-step guide.
Alright, here’s what we have with our graph already made and our data laid out. The blue is one series and the red is another series. We want to apply error bars with different values to EACH bar in the graph.
First thing we need to do is calculate the error for each condition. You can use standard deviation (STDEV) but I need standard error for this case (STDEV/SQRT(COUNT)).
Click on the graph. Under Chart Tools go to Layout > Error Bars > More Error Bars Options…
Select the series you want to work on first.
Vertical Error Bars > Custom > Specify Value
Specify the positive error value…
By selecting the two cells that contain the error you previously calculated. The first cell will apply the error to the FIRST bar, the second cell will apply the error to the SECOND bar.
Do the same for the negative error value if needed and hit OK.
HOLY CRAP! Different error bars! Finally, I know.
Do the same thing for the other series.
And there you have it, an illustrated guide on how to make different error bars for values in the same series in excel!