Making a line graph to visualize the data in excel is very common in our daily life. After making a line graph, you may have to edit the line graph to look good or add necessary things in Excel. You may want to add title, change color, change the text format, add axes title, change graph type, change the layout or add any other elements in Excel. So, in this article, I will show you how to edit a line graph in Excel.
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Types of Line Graphs in Excel
In Excel, while making line graphs, you will find some types of options. Here, I am describing each type of them.
- Line: You will use this type to show trends over time for large datasets.
- Stacked Line: This graph will show how parts of the whole dataset change over time. Here, the points will not intersect and it makes cumulative points for each row.
- 100% Stacked Line: It shows the proportion of the contribution to the trends and it scales the line so that the total becomes 100%. So, it will make a straight line at the top.
- Line with Markers: It also shows trends over time but it marks the data points.
- Stacked Line with Markers: It is the same as the stacked line chart but it marks the data points in it.
- 100% Stacked Line with Markers: It is also the same as the 100% stacked line but in addition, it shows the data points in it.
How to Make a Basic Line Graph in Excel
To make a basic line graph, you have the necessary data in the Excel file. Then, follow the steps below:
- First, select the data columns that you want to add to the chart.
- Then, go to the Insert tab in the top ribbon.
- And, click on the Line Chart option from the Chart group and select any of the types that you need.
- Now, you have a basic line chart for the data in the worksheet.
- You can resize and move it by mouse easily.
How to Edit a Line Graph in Excel
After making the basic chart, now you can edit and change it as your need. Here, I am showing how to edit a line graph in Excel.
1. Select Line Chart Style in Excel
To change the style of the line graph, follow these steps:
- Firstly, double-click on the graph and you will a tab will create in the ribbon named Chart style.
- Then, in the Chart Style tab, click on the down arrow to open more styles.
- From the available styles, you can select any of them and apply them to the graph.
- When you position the mouse cursor on any of the styles, you can see the preview of the style on the chart.
- Alternatively, you can select a style in another way.
- For this, click on the chart and you will see 3 buttons will appear on the top right corner of the chart.
- Click on the 2nd one which is a brush icon.
- And, there will open a box. Click on the Style tab.
- Finally, scroll down and select any style from the list to apply.
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2. Change Line Graph Type
While making the chart at first, you have selected a graph type but also after making a chart, you can also change the type. To change the graph type, follow the steps below:
- Like before, double click on the chart and go to Chart Design.
- Now, go to the Change Chart Type option.
- Then, you will see the types again. Select the type that you want to implement. And Press OK.
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3. Change Graph Colors
To look good, you may want to apply color combinations to the chart. In Excel, there are some ready-made color combinations to apply. To Change Chart colors, follow these steps:
- At first, go to Chart Design again and click on the Change Colors option.
- Then, you see a list of color combinations.
- Place the mouse cursor on them to preview their effect on the chart.
- And select any combination that you think is the best fit for the chart.
Alternatively, you can change colors by using these steps:
- Click on the chart then click on the Brush button on the top right corner of the chart.
- Then, go to the Colors tab.
- And scroll down to select the best–fit colors for the chart.
4. Edit Graph Layout
Chart layout is a combination of elements that are already made in Excel to use. You can apply them to your chart. To use them, follow these steps:
- First, in the Chart Design tab, click on the Quick Layout option.
- Here, you will see a list of layouts.
- Preview them and apply one to your graph.
Read More: How to Edit Pie Chart in Excel (All Possible Modifications)
5. Add Graph Elements
In Quick Layouts, some elements are already added or removed. But you can manually edit the graph to add or remove any elements of the chart by using the Add Chart Element option.
- After clicking on the Add Chart Element, you will see a list of elements.
- Click on them one by one to add, remove or edit.
Alternatively, you can find the list of chart elements by clicking the Plus(+) button from the top right corner of the chart.
- Here, mark the elements to add and unmark the elements to remove.
- You will find an arrow on the element, where you will find other options to edit the elements.
Here, I will describe the elements, their uses, and how to implement them in clear steps.
Add Title in Line Graph:
The chart title is the title of a chart. After adding a chart, you will see a box written “Chart Title” by default.
- To remove the title, unmark the box of Chart Title or keep marked to stay with the title.
- Then, click on the arrow to see the options.
- And, select the position where you want to place the title.
- Generally, we use the Above Chart option, so the title is placed at the top of the chart.
- Then, click on the title box, and write a suitable name for the chart.
Add Axes Title in Line Graph:
In a basic line graph, you may not find the title of the axes. To add the axes title, follow the steps below:
- First, go to the Chart Elements, and mark the Axis Titles option to add the axes titles.
- Then, click on the arrow, and you will find 2 more options.
- Here, mark both boxes if you want titles for both axes and unmark if you want to remove any of them.
- After adding, you can edit the titles simply by clicking on them.
Add Data Labels:
Sometimes, you may need to show the values of points in the graph, In Excel, you can add labels of the points. Follow the steps below:
- At first, go to the Chart Elements, and mark the Data Labels option to show the labels of the points.
- Then, click on the arrow to open the position
- Now, select a suitable position where the label will place with the point.
Add Data Table Inside Chart:
Instead of labeling the data, you can add the entire data table inside the chart. To add a data table inside the chart, follow these steps:
- First, mark the Data Table option in the Chart Elements list.
- Then, click on the arrow and select With Legend Keys option.
- So, there will create a data table inside the chart and you will see the color line with respect to the graph.
Add Error bars:
An error means the deviation from the average value of the data. In Excel, the error value generates by default so you can show them in the graph to have a general idea. To show errors follow the steps below:
- Similarly, mark the Error Bars option to show errors in the graph.
- Then, click on the arrow to select the type of error to show.
- In statistics, there are some types of errors. You can select any of them from the list to show in the graph.
- Now, you can see bars in each data point which is showing the error values.
Add or Remove Gridlines:
Gridlines are the basic part of a line graph. But after making a graph, you may or may not want to see the gridlines. So, to add or remove the gridlines, follow these steps:
- At first, go to the Chart Elements.
- Then, mark the Gridlines option to show them and unmark to hide them.
- After clicking the arrow, you will find the list of the lines.
- Then, mark or unmark the lines as you want to see.
Add Legend in Line Graph:
If you add multiple columns of data to the chart, each line of the graph will of different colors and you have to name each line which is called Legend. You have to show the legends in the chart. Otherwise, you can’t identify which graph show which data. To add or edit legends, follow these steps:
- At first, mark the Legend option in the Chart Elements menu to show the legends and unmark to remove them.
- Then, click on the arrow to select the position where the legends will be placed.
Up/Down Bars in Line Graph:
To visualize the difference between the two graphs, you can add up-down bars in the line graph. For this, mark the Up-Down Bars option in the Chart Element list. Then, you can see bars for each point which are showing the differences between the two points of each graph.
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6. Format Line Chart Manually in Excel
It should be noted that by setting style, layout, and color combinations, you have formatted the chart automatically. But you can define the format by your own choice also.
- When you click on a graph, you will there create a window on the right side of the workbook named Format Chart Area.
- So, here all the options will take effect on all the things in the chart
- To format each thing of the chart individually, click on the arrow beside the Chart Options.
- Here will open a drop-down menu.
- Then, select them one by one to format them.
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7. Edit Background of Chart
You can edit the background of the chart. Do the same thing for the other elements of the chart.
- Firstly, you will choose any Fill options.
- Then, choose a color by clicking on the button.
8. Edit Border Line
Then, you can also format the borderline of the graph. Here, you can give color, change the thickness, and the type of the border in the chart. For this, go down part of the Format window. And Edit the options as you want to see the graph.
9. Edit Text Format of a Line Graph
Also, you may want to change the colors of the texts in the chart. For this, go to the Text options. Here, you can change the color of the text here. In addition, you can change the Fill type and change the transparency percentage.
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How to Avoid Clicking the Wrong Part of the Graph
A chart has many things like titles, data labels, legends, gridlines, etc. So while editing one object, you may click on another object by mistake. Sometimes, you may want to move the entire graph and drag the graph with the mouse by clicking in the middle of the graph and the graph isn’t moving instead the plot area is shifted.
So, to avoid this mistake, when you want to select the entire graph, you should click on the top-left or the top-right corner of the graph. And if you have done any mistakes, use the Ctrl + Z feature of Excel to undo the task.
In this article, I have shown you how to make a basic line graph and edit a line graph in Excel. Download the practice workbook and apply the steps here to practice yourself. And, I believe, your all confusion regarding how to edit a line graph in Excel will be solved after reading this article. I hope you found this article helpful. You can visit our website Exceldemy to learn more Excel-related content. Please, drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.
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