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


Percentage line graphs are an essential tool for visualizing trends and comparing data in Excel. Whether you're analyzing sales performance, tracking project milestones, or monitoring financial metrics, percentage line graphs can provide clear insights into your data. In this tutorial, we'll provide a step-by-step guide to creating a percentage line graph in Excel, so you can effectively communicate your data and make informed decisions.

Key Takeaways

  • Percentage line graphs are essential for visualizing trends and comparing data in Excel.
  • Properly organizing and preparing your data is crucial for creating an effective percentage line graph.
  • Formatting and customizing the graph can enhance its visual appeal and clarity.
  • Consider adding additional data, such as trend lines or data labels, to provide more insights without cluttering the graph.
  • Using percentage line graphs in Excel can provide clear insights and help make informed decisions when analyzing data.

Step 1: Prepare your data

Before creating a percentage line graph in Excel, it's crucial to ensure that your data is properly organized. Here are the key steps to take:

A. Ensure your data is organized properly in the Excel spreadsheet

Before you begin creating your percentage line graph, make sure that your data is laid out in a clear and organized manner within the Excel spreadsheet. This will make it easier to select the data for your graph and ensure accuracy in your representation.

B. Double-check that your data includes the necessary categories and values for the percentage line graph

Confirm that your data includes the appropriate categories and values that you want to represent in your percentage line graph. This may involve calculating percentages beforehand or ensuring that your data is structured in a way that allows for easy percentage calculation within Excel.

Step 2: Insert a line graph

After selecting the data range for the line graph, you can proceed to insert the line graph into your Excel spreadsheet.

A. Select the data range for the line graph

Before inserting the line graph, make sure to select the specific data range that you want to include in the graph. This will ensure that the graph accurately represents the data you want to visualize.

B. Go to the "Insert" tab and choose the "Line Graph" option

Once you have selected the data range, go to the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window. From the various chart options, select "Line Graph." This will prompt Excel to generate a line graph based on the data range you have selected.

Step 3: Format the line graph

After creating the line graph and adding the data series, it’s important to format the graph to make it more visually appealing and easier to understand. Here’s how to do it:

A. Right-click on the data series and select "Format Data Series"

Right-click on the line graph to bring up the context menu, then select "Format Data Series." This will open up the formatting options for the data series.

B. Choose the "Percentage" option under "Number" tab to display the values as percentages

Within the formatting options, navigate to the "Number" tab. Here, you can choose the "Percentage" option to display the values on the graph as percentages. This is helpful when you want to show the proportion of each data point in relation to the total.

Step 4: Customize the graph

Once you have created your percentage line graph in Excel, it's time to customize it to make it visually appealing and easy to understand.

A. Add axis labels and a title to the graph

  • 1. Add axis labels:

    Click on the graph to select it, then click on the "Chart Elements" button (the green plus sign) that appears on the top-right corner of the graph. Check the box next to "Axis Titles" and choose "Primary Vertical Axis Title" and "Primary Horizontal Axis Title" to add labels to your graph.
  • 2. Add a title:

    To add a title to your graph, select the graph and click on the "Chart Elements" button again. Check the box next to "Chart Title" and select the position for the title (above the chart, centered overlay, etc.).

B. Adjust the color and style of the graph to make it visually appealing

  • 1. Change the color:

    To change the color of the line in your graph, click on the line to select it. Then, right-click and choose "Format Data Series." From there, you can choose a new line color under the "Fill & Line" tab.
  • 2. Adjust the style:

    You can also change the line style, thickness, and marker options by navigating to the "Format Data Series" menu. Experiment with different styles to find the one that best represents your data.

Step 5: Add additional data if necessary

Once you have created your percentage line graph in Excel, you may want to consider adding additional data to enhance the insights provided by the graph.

  • A. Consider adding a trend line or data labels to provide more insights
  • If you want to highlight a specific trend or pattern in your data, adding a trend line can be a useful visualization tool. This can help to make the overall trend more apparent and provide additional context for your graph. Data labels can also be added to the graph to provide specific data points, making it easier for viewers to interpret the graph.

  • B. Ensure that the additional data does not clutter the graph
  • While adding extra data can be beneficial, it's important to ensure that it does not overcrowd or overwhelm the graph. Cluttered graphs can be difficult to interpret and may hinder the communication of your message. Be selective about the additional data you choose to include and consider using visual elements such as color or size to differentiate between the main data and the additional information.


Creating a percentage line graph in Excel is a useful way to visualize and analyze data. To recap, the steps include selecting the data, inserting a line graph, and formatting the graph to display percentages. Using percentage line graphs in Excel offers numerous benefits, such as providing a clear and concise representation of data trends over time, making it easier to compare different categories, and assessing the relative proportions of the different components. This visual tool is a valuable asset for anyone looking to effectively analyze and present their data.

Excel Dashboard

ONLY $99

    Immediate Download

    MAC & PC Compatible

    Free Email Support

Related aticles