Excel Tutorial: How To Plot Two Lines In Excel


Are you looking to learn how to plot two lines in Excel? Whether you're a student, professional, or data analyst, knowing how to visually represent data is an essential skill. Excel is a powerful tool for creating charts and graphs, and being able to plot two lines on the same graph can help you effectively compare and analyze different sets of data.

Key Takeaways

  • Plotting two lines in Excel is essential for comparing and analyzing different sets of data
  • Understanding data sets and how to format them accurately is crucial for creating effective line charts
  • Customizing the chart with style, color, labels, titles, and legends can enhance clarity and visual appeal
  • Analyzing the chart for insights and identifying trends or patterns is an important part of data visualization
  • Practicing plotting two lines in Excel can lead to better data analysis opportunities

Understanding Data Sets

Explaining the concept of data sets in Excel:

In Excel, a data set refers to a collection of data points that are organized in a tabular format. Each column represents a different variable, and each row represents a unique observation. Data sets in Excel are used for various analytical and visualization purposes.

Discussing the relevance of plotting two lines for comparison or trend analysis:

When working with data sets in Excel, it is often valuable to compare two data series to identify trends, patterns, or correlations. Plotting two lines on a single chart allows for easy visual comparison, making it an effective tool for data analysis and decision-making.

Data Entry and Formatting

When plotting two lines in Excel, it's important to properly enter and format the data to ensure accurate results.

A. Provide guidance on entering data into Excel for two separate lines

1. Open Microsoft Excel and create a new worksheet to begin entering your data.

2. In separate columns, enter the x-values and y-values for the first line in consecutive rows. Repeat this process for the second line.

3. Double-check the entered data to ensure accuracy and consistency. Any errors in the data can result in inaccurate plotting of the lines.

B. Discuss how to format the data to ensure accuracy in the plotted lines

1. Once the data is entered, select the range of cells containing the x and y values for both lines.

2. Navigate to the "Insert" tab in the Excel ribbon and select "Line" from the Charts group. Choose a suitable line chart style, such as "Line with Markers."

3. After the chart is created, right-click on the chart and select "Select Data" from the menu. This will allow you to further customize the data series for accurate plotting.

4. In the "Select Data Source" dialog box, select "Add" to input the series name and select the range of cells for the x and y values for each line.

5. Click "OK" to apply the changes and close the dialog box. Your lines should now be accurately plotted on the chart.

Creating the Line Chart

When you want to compare two sets of data in Excel, creating a line chart is an effective way to visually represent the data. Here's how you can plot two lines in Excel:

A. Walk through the steps to select the data for the chart

1. Open your Excel spreadsheet and locate the data that you want to plot on the chart. Make sure that the data for both lines is organized in separate columns.

2. Click and drag to select the data for both sets of values. Be sure to include the headers for each column to ensure that the chart is properly labeled.

B. Explain the process of choosing the line chart option and customizing it for two lines

1. After selecting the data, navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window.

2. In the "Charts" section, click on the "Line" option.

3. A dropdown menu will appear, allowing you to choose from various line chart options. Select the one that best fits your data, such as a basic line chart or a stacked line chart.

4. Once the chart is inserted into your spreadsheet, right-click on the chart and select "Select Data" from the menu that appears.

5. In the "Select Data Source" window, click the "Add" button to input the data series for the second line. This will allow you to add the second set of data to the chart.

6. With both sets of data now included in the chart, you can further customize the appearance by adjusting the colors, line styles, and other formatting options.

Customizing the Chart

After plotting two lines on an Excel chart, you may want to customize the appearance of the chart to make it more visually appealing and easier to understand.

A. Changing the Style and Color of the Lines

You can easily change the style and color of the lines in your Excel chart to make them stand out or blend in with the rest of the chart elements. To do this, simply right-click on the line you want to customize and select the "Format Data Series" option. From there, you can choose a different line style and color that suits your preferences.

B. Adding Labels, Titles, and Legends for Clarity

Labels, titles, and legends can provide important context and clarity to your chart, making it easier for viewers to understand the data being presented. To add these elements, simply click on the chart and then select the "Chart Elements" button (the plus sign icon) that appears next to the chart. From there, you can choose to add axis titles, data labels, and a chart title, as well as customize the legend to clearly indicate which line corresponds to which data series.

Analyzing the Chart

After plotting two lines in Excel, it is crucial to analyze the chart to gain valuable insights and make informed decisions. Here are some key points to consider when analyzing the plotted lines:

A. Highlight the importance of analyzing the plotted lines for insights

When you plot two lines in Excel, it is essential to analyze the chart to understand the relationship between the variables and identify any patterns or trends that may exist. Analyzing the chart can provide valuable insights into the data and help in making informed decisions.

B. Provide tips on interpreting the data and identifying trends or patterns
  • Identify trends: Look for any upward or downward trends in the data. This can help in understanding the direction in which the variables are moving.
  • Compare the lines: Compare the two lines to identify any correlations or discrepancies between the variables. This can help in understanding the relationship between the variables.
  • Look for patterns: Analyze the chart for any recurring patterns or cycles. This can provide valuable insights into the behavior of the variables over time.
  • Consider outliers: Identify any outliers in the data that may impact the overall trend. It is important to consider these outliers when drawing conclusions from the chart.


In conclusion, this Excel tutorial has provided a detailed guide on how to plot two lines in Excel. We have learned the step-by-step process of creating a two-line graph using the data from a spreadsheet. By following the tutorial, you can now effectively visualize and analyze two sets of data simultaneously to derive valuable insights.

Now, I encourage you to practice plotting two lines in Excel using your own datasets. This will not only help you in becoming proficient in data visualization but also enhance your analytical skills. The ability to create dual-line graphs in Excel is a powerful tool for professionals in various fields, and mastering this skill can greatly improve your data interpretation capabilities.

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