Excel Tutorial: How To Make A Graph With Multiple Lines In Excel


When it comes to visualizing data, Excel is a powerful tool that can help you create clear and impactful graphs. In this tutorial, we will be focusing on how to make a graph with multiple lines in Excel. Whether you are a business analyst, a student, or simply someone who wants to present data in a compelling way, knowing how to create a graph with multiple lines can be an invaluable skill.

Graphs with multiple lines are essential for comparing different sets of data and understanding trends over time. By using multiple lines in a graph, you can easily illustrate the relationship between various data points, making it easier for your audience to interpret the information you are presenting.

Key Takeaways

  • Creating a graph with multiple lines in Excel is essential for data visualization and comparison of different data sets.
  • Organizing and formatting your data properly is crucial for clarity and understanding in your graph.
  • Customizing the graph, including axis labels, colors, and styles, can help differentiate the multiple lines for easier interpretation.
  • Adding a clear and unobtrusive legend is important to explain the representation of each line on the graph.
  • Effective data visualization is key for communicating information clearly and compellingly to your audience.

Setting up your data

Before you can create a graph with multiple lines in Excel, you need to properly organize and format your data. Here's how to do it:

A. Organize your data into columns for each line of the graph
  • Start by opening a new or existing Excel workbook and input your data into separate columns. Each column should represent a different line on the graph.
  • For example, if you want to create a graph comparing sales data for three different products over a period of time, you would have one column for the time period, and separate columns for the sales data of each product.

B. Make sure your data is properly formatted and labeled for clarity
  • Ensure that your data is formatted correctly for use in a graph. This may include formatting dates, numbers, or any other relevant data.
  • Label each column with a clear and descriptive header to make it easy to identify the data when creating the graph.

Selecting the data for the graph

Creating a graph with multiple lines in Excel can provide a clear visual representation of complex data. However, before you can create the graph, you need to select the data that you want to include. Here's how:

  • A. Highlight the data you want to include in the graph To begin, open your Excel spreadsheet and locate the data that you want to represent on the graph. Click and drag your mouse to highlight the cells containing the data. Make sure to include the column or row labels if you want them to appear on the graph as well.
  • B. Ensure all the necessary data series are selected If you are creating a graph with multiple lines, you may have several data series that you want to include. Be sure to select all of the relevant data series to ensure that they are included in the graph. This may involve selecting multiple sets of cells or using the Ctrl key to select non-adjacent cells.

Inserting the graph

When creating a graph with multiple lines in Excel, the first step is to insert the graph into your spreadsheet. Here’s how you can do it:

A. Go to the "Insert" tab in Excel

Click on the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window to access the various graph options available to you.

B. Select the type of graph you want to use for your multiple lines

Once you are in the "Insert" tab, you can choose the type of graph that best suits your data. For multiple lines, a line graph or a stacked line graph can be the most appropriate options. Click on the graph type to insert it into your spreadsheet.

Customizing the graph

When creating a graph with multiple lines in Excel, it's important to customize it to make it easy to read and understand. Here are some important ways to customize your graph:

  • Edit the axis labels and titles for clarity

    Axis labels and titles provide essential information about the data being presented on the graph. To edit these, simply click on the axis or title to select it, then right-click and choose "Edit" to change the text. Make sure to use clear and concise labels that accurately represent the data being displayed.

  • Adjust the colors and styles of the lines to differentiate them

    When displaying multiple lines on a graph, it's crucial to make sure that each line is easily distinguishable from the others. To change the colors and styles of the lines, select a line on the graph, right-click, and choose "Format Data Series." Here, you can modify the line color, style, and thickness to differentiate each line. It's also helpful to use markers or data point shapes to visually separate the lines on the graph.

Adding a Legend

When creating a graph with multiple lines in Excel, it's important to make sure that the viewer can easily understand what each line represents. Adding a legend is an effective way to accomplish this.

A. Insert a legend to explain what each line on the graph represents

  • Click on the graph to select it.
  • Go to the "Design" tab in the Excel ribbon.
  • Click on the "Add Chart Element" button.
  • Select "Legend" from the dropdown menu.
  • The legend will now appear on the graph, typically to the right or bottom of the graph by default.

B. Position the legend in a clear and unobtrusive location on the graph

  • To move the legend, click on it to select it.
  • You can then click and drag the legend to a new location on the graph.
  • It's important to position the legend in a place that is easily visible, but does not interfere with the visualization of the data.
  • Consider placing the legend to the right or bottom of the graph, or in a corner where it is unobtrusive.


Creating a graph with multiple lines in Excel can be an effective way to visualize and communicate complex data. To summarize the key steps, first, organize your data into a table format, then select the data range and insert a line chart, and finally, customize the chart to add multiple lines.

It is important to remember the importance of clear data visualization for effective communication of information. By using charts and graphs, we can easily convey key insights and trends to our audience, making it easier for them to understand and interpret the data. Visual representations of data can help in making more informed decisions and convey complex information in a simple and impactful manner.

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