Excel Tutorial: How To Make One Line Graph In Excel


Line graphs are essential in Excel for presenting data in a visual and easy-to-understand format. In this tutorial, we will provide a step-by-step guide on how to create a line graph in Excel, allowing you to effectively visualize and analyze your data.

This tutorial will cover everything from selecting the data to customizing the appearance of the graph, empowering you to create professional-looking line graphs for your presentations and reports.

Key Takeaways

  • Line graphs are essential for presenting data in a visual and easy-to-understand format.
  • Creating professional-looking line graphs in Excel can empower you to effectively visualize and analyze data.
  • Organizing data and selecting the appropriate data range are crucial steps in creating a line graph.
  • Customizing the graph with colors, styles, and labels can enhance its visual appeal and comprehensibility.
  • Adding data labels and annotations can help highlight specific data points and enhance the overall clarity of the graph.

Data Entry

When creating a line graph in Excel, the first step is to input your data into the spreadsheet. Here's how you can do it:

  • How to input data into Excel: Start by opening a new or existing Excel workbook. Enter your data into the cells of the spreadsheet, with each row representing a different data series and each column representing a different category or time period.
  • Tips for organizing data for line graphs: To make creating a line graph easier, it's important to organize your data properly. Ensure that your data is arranged in a logical and consistent manner, with clear labels for the x-axis (independent variable) and y-axis (dependent variable).

Step 2: Selecting Data for Graph

When creating a line graph in Excel, the first step is to select the data that will be included in the graph. This is a crucial step as the accuracy and relevance of the graph depend on the data selected. Here's how to go about it:

A. Highlighting the data to be included in the graph

To highlight the data, simply click and drag your mouse over the cells that contain the data you want to include in the graph. Ensure that you select both the X-axis (independent variable) and Y-axis (dependent variable) data for the line graph.

B. Choosing the appropriate data range

Once you have highlighted the data, it's important to choose the appropriate data range for the graph. This means ensuring that you have selected all the relevant data points that you want to be displayed on the graph. Additionally, it's important to include any labels or headers for the data to ensure the graph is accurately labeled.

Step 3: Inserting the Line Graph

Once you have prepared your data and selected the range for your line graph, it's time to insert the actual graph into your Excel worksheet.

A. Navigating to the "Insert" tab in Excel

To begin, you will need to navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window. This tab is where you can find all the options for inserting different types of charts and graphs into your worksheet.

B. Selecting the "Line Graph" option

After clicking on the "Insert" tab, you will see a variety of graph options to choose from. Look for the "Line Graph" option, which is represented by a line connecting data points. Click on this option to insert a blank line graph into your worksheet.

Step 4: Customizing the Graph

After creating a line graph in Excel, you may want to customize it to make it more visually appealing and easier to understand. Here are a few ways to do that:

A. Adjusting colors and styles of the line

  • Line Color: To change the color of the line, right-click on the line and select "Format Data Series." Then, choose the "Fill & Line" option and select a new color under the "Line" tab.
  • Line Style: If you want to change the style of the line (e.g., dashed or dotted), you can do so by selecting the desired style under the "Dash type" option within the "Line" tab in the Format Data Series menu.
  • Marker Options: You can also add markers to data points on the line by selecting the "Marker Options" tab within the Format Data Series menu and choosing a shape and size for the marker.

B. Adding a title and axis labels

  • Chart Title: To add a title to your graph, click on the "Chart Title" placeholder and type in the title you want. You can also format the title by changing its font, size, and color.
  • Axis Labels: To add labels to the x and y-axes, click on the "Axis Titles" placeholders and enter the labels you want to display. You can also customize the font, size, and color of the axis labels to make them more readable.

Step 5: Adding Data Labels and Annotations

Once you have created your line graph in Excel, you may want to add data labels and annotations to provide more context and clarity to your graph. Here’s how you can do that:

A. How to include data labels on the graph

If you want to display the values of the data points on your graph, you can easily add data labels in Excel:

1. Select the data series

To add data labels, first click on the data series to select it. This will highlight the entire series on the graph.

2. Add data labels

Next, go to the “Chart Tools” tab, click on “Add Chart Element” and then select “Data Labels.” You can choose to display the labels for the data points above, below, or inside the data markers.

B. Adding annotations to highlight specific data points

Annotations can be useful for drawing attention to specific data points or trends on your graph:

1. Insert a text box

To add an annotation, go to the “Insert” tab and click on “Text Box.” Click and drag on the graph to create the text box, and then type in your annotation.

2. Customize the annotation

You can customize the appearance of the text box by right-clicking on it and selecting “Format Shape.” From here, you can change the fill color, border color, and other formatting options to make the annotation stand out.


Creating a line graph in Excel is a valuable skill that can help you visualize data in a clear and effective way. To recap, you can create a line graph by selecting your data, inserting a chart, and choosing the line graph option. Remember to label your axes and add a title for better clarity. I encourage you to practice creating line graphs in Excel and to explore additional features such as adding trendlines or customizing the appearance of your graph. With some practice, you will become proficient in creating and customizing line graphs to suit your specific needs.

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