For example, they’re not very good at showing proportions. There’s just a line. Clustered and stacked charts let you show a lot of data in a small space, but they can be difficult to read. 8. And while they’re good at showing change over time, a timeline might be better represented by a Gantt chart. Excel’s default colors and design for line charts are nice, but there’s a lot of customization you can do to make it look better. In simple words, a Line graph is used to show changes over time to time. To change the axis type to Date axis, execute the following steps. Click the paint bucket icon and change the line color. The Quick Layout menu gives you a fast way to add and remove elements. On the Insert tab, in the Charts group, click the Line symbol. Click Linear. The most effective visuals are often the simplest—and line charts (another name for the same graph) are some of the easiest to understand. The line graph is one of the simplest graphs you can make in Excel. Don’t forget that. Formatting your data for use in a line graph is very simple. But if you've already invested quite a lot of time in designing you graph, you wouldn't want to do the same job twice. BONUS: Download the Line Graph Exercise File to go along with this post. For example, we’ve added projected sales along with actual sales here: You can include as many different lines in a line chart as you want, but we recommend keeping it to a handful at most. Click Marker and change the fill color and border color of the markers. It should be your first stop when editing a line graph. Different styles include a variety of chart elements. 3/18 Completed! But it can be a very powerful tool for presenting data! Error bars, data labels, trend lines, and other useful statistical notations are very clear on line graphs. Then select the type and size. On a line graph, people will see this very quickly. They can be represented on other types of charts, but it’s easy for them to become obscured. Open the Design tab in the Ribbon, and you’ll see a number of available styles. 12. 3. Click Select Data in the Ribbon. Line Chart in Excel is created to display trend graphs from time to time. The easiest way to do this is with chart styles. Double-click the Excel program icon, which resembles a white "X" on a green folder. That’s all there is to it! You can also use this window to switch the rows and columns of your graph. Specify the number of periods to include in the forecast. 2. There are other good uses for line charts, but showing a value over time is one of the best. Uncheck Dolphins and Whales and click OK. To change the color of the line and the markers, execute the following steps. While bar graphs may be best for showing proportions and other data points, line graphs are ideal for tracking trends and predicting the results of data in yet-to-be-recorded time periods. Line charts solve that problem by leaving a lot of white space for you to work with. 4. Conclusion: the trendline predicts a population of approximately 250 bears in 2024. To create a line chart, execute the following steps. What is Line Graphs / Chart in Excel? Put each category and the associated value on one line: We’ve put each value in a different column. 13. But there’s a button right in the Ribbon that does that for you, too: You can also use the Move Chart button to move your chart to an existing sheet or create a new one for it: This is especially useful, because most of the time you won’t want your graph right on top of your data. Markers are the symbols (often circles) at each point on your line. No problem, you can still follow the exact same steps. Here are our top 3 picks: 1: The last guide to VLOOKUP you’ll ever need, 3: INDEX+MATCH with multiple criteria in 5 easy steps. If you didn’t select all the data you want, or you added data to your set, you can adjust the data included in your graph. The simplicity of the line graph is its greatest strength. Type 2 in the Forward box. Here are a few significant advantages of line graphs: Bar charts and column charts can show things over time, but it’s not intuitively clear that the categories represent different temporal slices. And because almost everyone is very familiar with this type of visual, you won’t have to explain how it works. Keep in mind that you can also remove elements through this menu, as well. It is commonly used to visually represent quantitative data over a certain time period. How to add a line to an existing Excel graph. Mouse over them to see a preview: Clicking any of these styles will immediately format your chart. To add a trendline, execute the following steps. Click the + button on the right side of the chart, click the arrow next to Trendline and then click More Options. In new versions of Excel (365, 2016+), just go to Insert ribbon and click on Combo chart button (the one that looks like a line column combination). Written by co-founder Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist. Use a line chart if you have text labels, dates or a few numeric labels on the horizontal axis. Now that you know why line charts are so useful, let’s take a look at creating them in Excel! – Zero to Hero: Become an Excel-Superuser in 14 hours, – VBA Masterclass: Become a VBA-Pro in 20 hours, – Team Solution: For Businesses and Organizations. It’s easy to underestimate the humble line graph, but give credit where it’s due! Excel will tell you which one is which. 14. Choose a Trend/Regression type. To create a line chart in Excel, execute the following steps. In earlier versions of Excel, just make a line chart, right click on the line that you want to change to something else and select “Change series chart type” option. Your data is probably organized like this already, so let’s move on. Excel is Awesome, we'll show you: Introduction • Basics • Functions • Data Analysis • VBA, 3/18 Completed! First, highlight the data you want in the graph: Then, open the Insert tab in the Ribbon. Once your data is properly formatted, you can create your chart. Click the paint can, then click “Marker.”. Select one of the templates from the menu and you’ll get a specific combination of elements: You can also quickly change the color palette with the Change Colors menu. 7. Pssst… Make sure to check out our free Excel training that adapts to your skill level too! You can also add individual elements in the Add Chart Element menu: In the image above, we’ve selected standard error bars. Plenty of other charts show the same information, so why not use them? Both work equally well. Note: only if you have numeric labels, empty cell A1 before you create the line chart. The line graph is one of the simplest graphs you can make in Excel. By doing this, Excel does not recognize the numbers in column A as a data series and automatically places these numbers on the horizontal (category) axis. More than that makes your graph much harder to read. How to Make a Line Graph in Excel: Explained Step-by-Step, The last guide to VLOOKUP you’ll ever need, INDEX+MATCH with multiple criteria in 5 easy steps, free Excel training that adapts to your skill level. Go to Next Chapter: Pivot Tables, Line Chart • © 2010-2020 Line charts are used to display trends over time. If you want to change colors or fonts, head to this tab and look around. A stacked column chart or a pie chart would be better there. One last step: just let us know where should we should send it. The resulting window will let you type or click-and-drag to select the data that should be included in your graph. But that doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best. Line graphs are one of the standard graph options in Excel, along with bar graphs and stacked bar graphs. You can even show interactions between values with this chart, which is great for complicated datasets. Organize your data so that each category has all the corresponding values in the same row or column: Then highlight your data and click the 2D Line button. Line charts are used to display trends over time. 2. It only takes a few clicks. 5. Line charts are simple. Learn much more about charts > Of all the visuals in Excel, why choose a line chart? Use the same data we’re using here to practice your skills! But that doesn’t mean it’s not one of the best. A line graph might not seem like much—it’s only a line, after all. However, there are a few cases in which you might not want to use a line graph. Using different-colored lines in a line graph is much clearer. On the Design tab, in the Data group, click Select Data. You’re going to be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t understand the information you present in a line chart. Let’s take a look at why you should use a line chart, how to prepare your data for it, and how to make it in Excel! Open Microsoft Excel. Few charts are are simple as the line chart, but it can show a lot of data in a small space. Making graphs with multiple lines is just as easy as creating single-line graphs. Learn much more about charts >. From here, you can use all the same editing techniques to customize your multi-line chart. By creating a Line chart in Excel, we can represent the most typical data. Select any color combination and your line chart will get a quick makeover: One of the most common things you’ll want to do on your line graph is add markers. Note that you can also select Line with Markers when you’re creating the graph to get the markers in from the beginning. Right click the horizontal axis, and then click Format Axis. Excel automatically calculates the standard error (or whatever is necessary for your chosen element) and inserts it into the graph. Almost everyone is very familiar with these graphs, and that’s a big advantage over more complicated options. 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