Excel Tutorial: How To Make Two Trendlines In Excel


If you're looking to gain valuable insights from your data, creating trendlines in Excel is a crucial skill to have. Trendlines are used to visually represent the direction and magnitude of a data series, making it easier to identify patterns and make predictions. In this tutorial, we'll show you how to create not just one, but two trendlines in Excel to enhance your data analysis capabilities.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding trendlines in Excel is important for gaining valuable insights from data.
  • Types of trendlines in Excel include linear, exponential, and more, each with its own benefits for data analysis.
  • Creating and customizing multiple trendlines in Excel can enhance data analysis capabilities.
  • Comparing and analyzing multiple trendlines can provide meaningful insights into data patterns and trends.
  • Best practices for using multiple trendlines include avoiding clutter, using different colors and styles, and choosing the right type of trendline for each data series.

Understanding Trendlines in Excel

When working with data in Excel, trendlines are a useful tool for analyzing and visualizing patterns. Understanding how to create and use trendlines can help you make more informed decisions based on your data.

A. Definition of trendlines

A trendline is a line that is drawn on a chart to represent the general direction of the data. It helps to visualize trends and patterns within the data and make predictions about future values.

B. Types of trendlines in Excel

Excel offers several types of trendlines to choose from, including linear, exponential, logarithmic, polynomial, power, and moving average. Each type of trendline is suited for different types of data and can help reveal specific patterns within the dataset.

C. How trendlines help to analyze data patterns

Trendlines help to identify and analyze patterns in the data, making it easier to understand how the data is behaving over time. They can also be used to make predictions about future values based on the direction of the trendline.

  • Linear trendlines: These are used to show a steady, linear progression in the data.
  • Exponential trendlines: These are used to show a rapid increase or decrease in the data.
  • Logarithmic trendlines: These are used to show a rapid initial increase or decrease, which then plateaus.
  • Polynomial trendlines: These are used to show a curved pattern in the data.
  • Power trendlines: These are used to show a rapid increase or decrease in the data, similar to exponential trendlines.
  • Moving average trendlines: These are used to smooth out fluctuations in the data to show the overall trend.

Creating the First Trendline in Excel

When working with data in Excel, it can be helpful to include trendlines to visualize the relationship between variables. Here's how to create the first trendline in Excel:

A. Selecting the data series for the first trendline
  • Step 1: Open your Excel workbook and navigate to the worksheet containing the data you want to analyze.
  • Step 2: Click on the chart that you want to add a trendline to. This will bring up the "Chart Tools" menu at the top of the Excel window.
  • Step 3: Click on the data series in the chart that you want to add a trendline to. This will select the data series.

B. Inserting the trendline
  • Step 1: With the data series selected, click on the "Chart Elements" button (it looks like a green plus sign) that appears next to the chart when you click on it.
  • Step 2: In the drop-down menu, hover over the "Trendline" option and then select the type of trendline you want to add (linear, exponential, etc.)

C. Customizing the trendline options
  • Step 1: After inserting the trendline, right-click on the trendline to bring up a menu of options.
  • Step 2: From the menu, select "Format Trendline" to customize the appearance and behavior of the trendline.
  • Step 3: In the "Format Trendline" pane that appears on the right side of the Excel window, you can adjust options such as line color, line style, and trendline equation display.

Creating the Second Trendline in Excel

When working with data in Excel, it can be helpful to have multiple trendlines to visualize different trends within the same dataset. Here’s how you can create a second trendline in Excel:

A. Selecting the data series for the second trendline

To add a second trendline, you first need to select the data series for which you want to create the new trendline. This can be done by clicking on the chart to select it, and then clicking on the specific data series to highlight it.

B. Inserting the trendline

Once the data series is selected, you can insert the second trendline by right-clicking on the selected data series and choosing “Add Trendline” from the context menu. This will open the “Format Data Series” pane on the right side of the Excel window.

  • C. Customizing the trendline options

Within the “Format Data Series” pane, you can customize the options for the second trendline. This includes choosing the type of trendline (e.g., linear, exponential, polynomial, etc.), as well as adjusting the line color, style, and weight. You can also modify the forecast and display options for the trendline, such as extending it beyond the existing data points or displaying the equation on the chart.

Comparing and Analyzing the Trendlines

When working with data in Excel, it's important to be able to visualize and analyze trends. This can be done by adding trendlines to your data plot. In this tutorial, we'll learn how to make two trendlines in Excel and then compare and analyze them to gain insights into our data.

A. Visualizing the trendlines on the data plot

Once you have added the trendlines to your data plot, it's important to be able to visualize them. This can be done by adjusting the formatting and style of the trendlines to make them more visible on the plot. By doing so, you can easily identify the direction and magnitude of the trends within the data.

B. Comparing the two trendlines

After visualizing the trendlines, the next step is to compare them. This can be done by examining the slopes, intercepts, and equations of the trendlines. By comparing these attributes, you can gain a better understanding of how the trends differ and where they intersect.

C. Analyzing the insights from the trendlines

Once the trendlines have been compared, it's time to analyze the insights they provide. This can include identifying any patterns, anomalies, or correlations within the data. By analyzing the trendlines, you can make informed decisions and predictions based on the trends present in your data.

Best Practices for Using Multiple Trendlines

When working with multiple trendlines in Excel, there are several best practices to keep in mind to ensure your data plot remains clear and easy to interpret. Here are some tips for using multiple trendlines effectively:

  • Avoiding clutter in the data plot
  • When adding multiple trendlines to a single plot, it's important to avoid cluttering the chart with too many lines. To keep the plot clean and easy to read, consider using no more than two or three trendlines at a time. If you have a large number of data series, consider creating separate charts for each trendline to prevent overcrowding.

  • Using different colors and styles for each trendline
  • To differentiate between multiple trendlines, use different colors and line styles for each line. This will make it easier for viewers to distinguish between the different trendlines and understand the relationships between the data series. Additionally, consider using labels or a legend to clearly identify each trendline on the chart.

  • Choosing the right type of trendline for each data series
  • Not all data series will fit the same type of trendline. When working with multiple data series, take the time to choose the appropriate type of trendline for each series. For example, a linear trendline might be suitable for one series, while a logarithmic or exponential trendline might be a better fit for another. By selecting the right trendline for each data series, you can accurately represent the relationships within your data.


A. Trendlines in Excel are an essential tool for visualizing and understanding the patterns within your data. They provide valuable insights and help to make informed decisions based on the trends identified.

B. In this tutorial, we covered the process of creating and analyzing two trendlines in Excel, allowing for a more in-depth exploration of the data and its trends. By following these steps, you can effectively utilize trendlines to enhance your data analysis capabilities.

C. I encourage you to make use of trendlines in your Excel spreadsheets to gain a deeper understanding of your data and to make more informed decisions. The insights gained from trendline analysis can be incredibly valuable in a variety of settings, from business to research and beyond.

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