Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Line Graph In Excel 2021


Line graphs are essential tools in Excel for visually representing data trends and patterns over time. Whether you're a student, a business professional, or a data analyst, knowing how to create a line graph in Excel can greatly enhance your data analysis and presentation skills. In this tutorial, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of making a line graph in Excel 2021. By the end of this tutorial, you will be able to create customized line graphs to effectively showcase your data.

Key Takeaways

  • Line graphs are essential tools in Excel for visually representing data trends and patterns over time.
  • Knowing how to create a line graph in Excel can greatly enhance data analysis and presentation skills.
  • Creating customized line graphs can effectively showcase data.
  • Customizing line graphs by changing color, style, and adding labels enhances visual appeal.
  • Including multiple data series and adjusting the legend adds depth to the analysis.

Understanding the data

When creating a line graph in Excel, it is important to have a clear understanding of the data that will be used. This involves selecting the appropriate data and ensuring that it is organized in a way that is conducive to creating an accurate line graph.

A. Selecting the data to be used in the line graph
  • Before creating a line graph, it is crucial to select the specific data that will be represented in the graph. This may involve choosing data points from a larger dataset or selecting specific columns or rows from a spreadsheet.
  • It is essential to consider the relevance of the data and how it contributes to the overall message or analysis that the line graph will convey.

B. Ensuring the data is organized in columns or rows
  • Once the data has been selected, it is important to ensure that it is organized in a way that is compatible with creating a line graph in Excel.
  • Data can be organized in either columns or rows, with each column or row representing a specific set of data points that will be plotted on the graph.
  • Organizing the data in a clear and logical manner will facilitate the process of creating the line graph and ensure that the final result is accurate and easy to interpret.

Creating the line graph

Excel is a powerful tool that allows you to visualize your data in various ways, including creating line graphs. Follow these simple steps to create a line graph in Excel 2021.

A. Opening Excel and creating a new worksheet

Before you can create a line graph, you'll need to open Excel and create a new worksheet to work with. Follow these steps to get started:

  • Open Microsoft Excel on your computer.
  • Click on the "File" tab and select "New" to create a new worksheet.
  • Choose a blank workbook to start with a clean slate.
  • Once the new worksheet is open, you can begin entering your data.

B. Selecting the data and inserting a line graph

Once you have entered your data into the worksheet, you can easily create a line graph to visualize it. Follow these steps to select the data and insert a line graph:

  • Select the range of data that you want to include in the line graph. This typically includes the x-axis (horizontal) and y-axis (vertical) data points.
  • With the data selected, navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window.
  • Click on the "Line" option in the Charts group to see the various types of line graphs that you can create.
  • Choose the specific type of line graph that best suits your data, such as a basic line graph, a stacked line graph, or a line graph with markers.
  • Once you select the desired line graph type, Excel will automatically create the graph and insert it into the worksheet.

Customizing the line graph

After creating a line graph in Excel, you may want to customize it to better suit your presentation or analysis needs. Here are a few ways you can personalize your line graph:

A. Changing the color and style of the line
  • Step 1: Select the line in the graph by clicking on it.
  • Step 2: Right-click and choose "Format Data Series" from the menu.
  • Step 3: In the Format Data Series pane, navigate to the "Line" section to change the color, style, and width of the line.
  • Step 4: Experiment with different options until you achieve the desired look for your line graph.

B. Adding axis labels and a title to the graph
  • Step 1: Click on the line graph to select it.
  • Step 2: Go to the "Chart Tools" tab at the top of the Excel window.
  • Step 3: Click on "Chart Titles" and choose whether to add a title to the chart, the X-axis, or the Y-axis.
  • Step 4: Enter the desired labels and title in the provided text boxes.
  • Step 5: Adjust the appearance and formatting of the labels and title as needed.

Adding additional data series

When creating a line graph in Excel, it's important to know how to include multiple lines on the same graph and adjust the legend accordingly. Here's how you can add additional data series to your line graph:

  • Including multiple lines on the same graph
  • To add multiple lines to the same graph in Excel, start by selecting your chart. Then, click on the "Design" tab in the Chart Tools menu and select "Select Data." From there, you can click on "Add" to add a new data series to your graph. You can then select the range of cells that contain the data you want to include in the new series.

  • Adjusting the legend to reflect the different data series
  • After adding multiple data series to your graph, you'll want to adjust the legend to reflect the different lines on the graph. To do this, simply click on the legend to select it, then right-click and choose "Format Legend." From there, you can customize the legend to show the appropriate labels for each data series, making it easier for viewers to understand the information presented in the graph.

Formatting and styling tips

When creating a line graph in Excel 2021, it's important to pay attention to the formatting and styling in order to make your graph visually appealing and easy to interpret. Here are some tips for adjusting the scale of the axes and adding gridlines for better visualization:

A. Adjusting the scale of the axes

  • Choose appropriate axis values: Before creating the line graph, consider the range of your data and choose appropriate axis values to ensure that the graph effectively represents your data without unnecessary distortion.
  • Adjust axis intervals: If necessary, adjust the intervals on the axes to make the graph more readable. Excel allows you to manually set the interval values for both the x and y axes.
  • Formatting the axes: Customize the appearance of the axes by changing the font size, color, and style to match the overall look of your graph.

B. Adding gridlines for better visualization

  • Adding major and minor gridlines: Excel allows you to add both major and minor gridlines to your graph. Major gridlines are the primary horizontal and vertical lines, while minor gridlines provide additional reference points.
  • Adjusting gridline style: Customize the style and color of the gridlines to ensure they complement the overall design of your graph. Consider using a subtle color that doesn't distract from the data points.
  • Gridline formatting options: Excel provides various formatting options for gridlines, including line weight, dash type, and transparency. Experiment with these options to find the best fit for your graph.


Creating a line graph in Excel can be a valuable tool for visualizing trends and patterns within your data. To recap, the key steps in making a line graph in Excel include selecting your data, navigating to the Insert tab, choosing the Line Chart option, and customizing your graph to best represent your data. Line graphs are incredibly useful for identifying trends, comparing different data sets, and making predictions based on historical data. Whether you're analyzing sales trends, tracking progress over time, or comparing multiple data sets, mastering the art of creating line graphs in Excel can greatly enhance your data analysis abilities.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles