Excel Tutorial: How To Make Line Chart In Excel


Line charts are an essential tool for visualizing data trends and patterns, making it easier to understand and interpret complex information. In Excel, creating a line chart allows you to showcase changes over time or compare multiple data sets. Whether you're a business professional analyzing sales figures or a student tracking study habits, learning how to make a line chart in Excel is a valuable skill for effectively presenting data.

Key Takeaways

  • Line charts are essential for visualizing data trends and patterns, making it easier to understand complex information.
  • Creating a line chart in Excel allows for showcasing changes over time or comparing multiple data sets.
  • Proper selection and organization of data are crucial for creating an effective line chart.
  • Customizing the chart with titles, labels, and formatting enhances its visual appeal and clarity.
  • Utilizing features like trendlines, markers, and data labels can provide valuable insights in line charts.

Understanding the data

Selecting the data for the line chart

Before creating a line chart in Excel, it is important to select the specific data that you want to represent on the chart. This typically involves choosing the data points that you want to display on the x and y axis of the chart. For example, if you are creating a line chart to represent the monthly sales figures for a specific product, you would select the sales data for each month.

Ensuring the data is organized properly for the chart

Once you have selected the data, it is crucial to ensure that the data is organized properly for the chart. This involves arranging the data in a way that makes sense for the viewer. For example, if you are creating a line chart to represent the sales figures for multiple products over time, you would want to organize the data with the products as the different series and the time periods as the categories.

Creating the line chart

Excel is a powerful tool for creating various types of charts and graphs, including line charts. Follow these steps to create a line chart in Excel:

A. Opening Excel and selecting the data
  • Step 1: Open Microsoft Excel on your computer.
  • Step 2: Enter the data you want to include in the line chart into the cells of the Excel spreadsheet. Make sure to organize your data into columns and rows with clear labels.
  • Step 3: Select the range of data you want to include in the line chart by clicking and dragging your mouse over the cells.

B. Choosing the line chart option from the chart menu
  • Step 1: Once you have selected your data, go to the "Insert" tab on the Excel ribbon.
  • Step 2: In the "Charts" group, click on the "Line" option to see the different line chart variations available.
  • Step 3: Select the specific type of line chart you want to create, such as a basic line chart or a 3D line chart.

C. Customizing the chart by adding titles, labels, and formatting
  • Step 1: Once the line chart is inserted into your spreadsheet, click on it to select it.
  • Step 2: Use the Chart Tools menu that appears on the ribbon to add a chart title, axis titles, and data labels to your chart.
  • Step 3: Format the appearance of the line chart by changing the colors, styles, and other visual elements to make it visually appealing and easy to understand.

Adding and formatting data series

When creating a line chart in Excel, it's important to know how to add and format data series to make your chart visually appealing and easy to understand.

A. Adding multiple data series to the line chart

To add multiple data series to your line chart, start by selecting the data range for the first series. Then, go to the "Insert" tab on the ribbon and click on "Line Chart." This will create a basic line chart with the first data series. To add additional series, select the chart, go to the "Design" tab, and click on "Select Data." Here, you can add new series and edit the data range for each series.

B. Changing the color and style of the lines for each data series

To change the color and style of the lines for each data series, double-click on the line you want to format. This will open the "Format Data Series" pane on the right-hand side. From here, you can customize the line color, style, and weight to differentiate between the different series in your chart. This is especially useful when you have multiple lines on the same chart and want to make it easy to distinguish between them.

C. Adjusting the axis and scale for better visualization

To adjust the axis and scale for better visualization, right-click on the axis you want to modify and select "Format Axis." Here, you can change the minimum and maximum values, as well as the scale and units for the axis. This allows you to customize the chart to better fit your data and make it easier to interpret.

Using line chart features

When creating a line chart in Excel, it's important to utilize the different features available to enhance the visualization of data. Here are some key features that can be used to make line charts more informative and visually appealing.

  • Adding trendlines to show patterns and forecasts
  • Trendlines are a great way to visually represent patterns or trends in your data. To add a trendline to your line chart, simply right-click on the data series and select "Add Trendline." You can then choose the type of trendline (linear, exponential, etc.) and customize its appearance to best fit your data.

  • Using markers to highlight specific data points
  • Markers are useful for drawing attention to specific data points on the line chart. To add markers, right-click on the data series and select "Format Data Series." From there, you can choose the marker options and customize the appearance of the markers to make them stand out.

  • Adding data labels for better understanding
  • Data labels can provide more context and clarity to your line chart by directly labeling the data points. To add data labels, simply right-click on the data series and select "Add Data Labels." You can then customize the position and format of the data labels to suit your needs.

Editing and updating the line chart

Once you have created a line chart in Excel, it's important to know how to edit and update it as needed. Whether you need to change the underlying data, modify the chart layout, or share it with others, knowing how to make these adjustments is essential for effectively using line charts in Excel.

A. Making changes to the data and updating the chart

  • Editing data: To make changes to the data used in your line chart, simply update the values in the corresponding cells of your Excel worksheet. The chart will automatically update to reflect the new data.
  • Adding new data: If you need to add new data to the chart, enter the values in the appropriate cells and the chart will automatically expand to include the new data points.
  • Removing data: If you want to remove a data series from the chart, simply delete the corresponding values from the worksheet, and the chart will update accordingly.

B. Modifying the chart layout and design

  • Changing chart title: To update the title of the chart, click on the title and start typing to replace it with the new text.
  • Adjusting axis labels: Click on the axis labels to select them and then make any necessary changes to the text or formatting.
  • Customizing chart style: Click on the chart and then navigate to the "Chart Tools" tab to choose from various chart styles, colors, and effects to update the design of the chart.

C. Saving and sharing the line chart

  • Saving the chart: To save the chart, simply save the Excel workbook, and the chart will be included in the saved file.
  • Sharing the chart: If you need to share the chart with others, you can easily do so by attaching the Excel file to an email, or by exporting the chart as an image and sharing it in a document or presentation.


Line charts are important tools for visualizing trends and data patterns in Excel. They are useful for showing the relationship between two variables and identifying long-term trends. As you continue to practice and explore different line chart features in Excel, you'll gain a better understanding of how to effectively present your data and make informed decisions based on the insights gained from the charts.

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