Generating a histogram from categorical data

I have a one-column selection of categorical data cells (and I do not have an extra column defining the categories).

What is the simplest, most newbie-friendly way for me to generate a histogram for that data, i.e. a table of category value and frequency (= number of occurrences) in my data?

Creating a Pivot Table
and then a Pivot Chart

I said nothing about a chart, so that part is not relevant.

About a PivotTable: Yes, that does work, but it takes some care for a user to realize exactly how to create a pivottable which constitutes a histogram; and multiple actions in the dialog to obtain that effect. Assuming that’s the best we can do - I’ll adapt your suggestion into a simplified answer.

(An adaptation of @mariosv’s suggestion to be more concrete and specific:)

Do the following:

  1. Select your categorical data
  2. On the menus, choose Insert | PivotTable…
  3. Press Ok to use the “current selection” of data.
  4. In the PivotTable dialog, drag the single item on the “available fields” list to “Row Fields”
  5. In the PivotTable dialog, drag the single item on the “available fields” list to “Data Fields”
  6. Double-click the new item in “Data Fields”, and change the aggregation function from “Sum” to “Count”
  7. Press Ok to create the PivotTable. It will have two columns containing the histogram you wanted (albeit not sorted by decreasing frequency).

in the pivot-dialog double-click the item in Rowfield
→→Sort by: count itemdescending→ok→ok→ok

Actually, I needed to change the sorting option to Manual, then choose the data field (the count field), then switch back to descending. For some reason, the field selection was grayed out for me. I wonder if that’s a bug.