Line Graph in Excel (Plot, Fit and Overlay)

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In this article, we will show you how to plot a line graph in Excel. We can use the Recommended Charts feature to get the line chart. Also, we can use the Insert Line or Area Chart option for that purpose.

Here, we will create both 2D and 3D line charts in Excel. Also, we will show you how to create a line chart with single and multiple lines. Apart from these methods, we will also show how to customize line charts in Excel. Overall, you will get proper knowledge of how you can use the line chart in a practical and meaningful way.

Overview image of line graph in Excel


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What Is a Line Graph in Excel?

A line graph is also known as a line chart. It represents data points connected by straight lines. We can use this type of chart to explain data trends. Also, we can compare two or more data sets with this line graph.

The horizontal axis consists of independent variables like time. The vertical axis represents data that changes over time. Overall, the line graph is a useful tool for observing trends and comparing different datasets.


When Should We Use a Line Graph?

A line graph is mainly used to visualize data trends. We often see it in the stock market. Also, it is a handy tool to compare different data series. Line graphs are useful when you are using continuous data. For discrete data series line graph may not be efficient.


Line Graph in Excel: Plot, Fit and Overlay

How to Plot Line Graph with Single Line in Excel

To describe the procedures, we have taken a dataset of Sales by a company for the year 2018. Let’s see the procedure below.

dataset for line graph

  • First, select the data range B5:C16.
  • Then from the Insert tab click on the Insert Line or Area Chart option.
  • Then select the Line chart.

Inserting line chart in excel

  • As a result, you will get the single-line graph as shown in the following image.

line graph with single line


How to Make a Line Graph with Multiple Lines in Excel

  • Now, we added two more data columns for sales from 2019 and 2020.

dataset for line graph with multiple lines

  • First, select the data range B6:E17.
  • Then, Go to Insert >> Insert Line or Area Chart and select the Line chart.

line chart for multiple lines

  • By doing so, we get the line graph with multiple lines as shown in the following image.

line graph with multiple lines in Excel


2D Line Graphs in Excel

1. Insert Line Graph from Recommended Charts

  • Another way to insert a line graph is to use the Recommended Charts option.
  • First, select the data range B5:E17 (including the table heading).
  • Then, click on the Recommended Charts option from the Insert tab.

line graph from recommended charts

  • You can see there are many types of recommended charts.
  • Select the line chart and press OK.

choosing line graph from recommended charts

  • And, we will have our line graph from this recommended chart option.

result after plotting line graph from recommended charts option

Read More: How to Make a Single Line Graph in Excel


2. Insert Line Chart Using 2D Line Graph Option

A line chart is used for comparing different datasets and to visualize the data trend.

  • First, select the data range B6:E17.
  • Then from the Insert tab, select the Line chart.

inserting 2d line chart

  • This will give you the 2D Line graph as shown in the following image.

2d line graph in excel


3. Create Line Graph with Stacked Line

The Stacked line stacks different data series on top of each other. This type of graph is useful to show each data series’ contribution to the total amount. We are using the same data table for this procedure.

  • First, select the data range B6:E17.
  • Then select the Stacked Line chart from the Insert tab.

inserting 2d stacked line chart

  • By doing so, we will get the Stacked Line chart as shown in the following image.
  • We also provided the total sale value so that you can have a better understanding of the stacked chart.

2d stacked line graph in excel


4. Make Line Graph with 100% Stacked Line

The 100% Stacked Line graph is quite similar to the Staked Line graph. The only difference is it stacks all data series by percentages. Each data point represents percentages of all data series.

  • Like the previous procedures, select the data range.
  • Then select the 100% Stacked Line from the Insert tab.

inserting 100% stacked line chart

  • You can see, we have got a 100% Stacked Line graph representing percentages of each data series.

100% stacked line graph in excel

Read More: How to Make a Percentage Line Graph in Excel


5. Create Line Graph with Marker

We add the marker to the line graphs. This marker indicates the data points.

  • Similar to the previous methods, select your data range and go to the Insert tab.
  • Then select the Line with Markers chart.

inserting line chart with markers

  • As a result, we get the line chart with markers.

line graph in excel with markers

  • Similarly use the next type of line chart i.e. Stacked Line with Markers.

inserting stacked line chart with markers

  • This will give a stacked line chart with markers as shown in the following image.

stacked line graph with markers

  • There is also another type of chart called 100% Stacked Line with Markers.
  • You can use this chart from the Insert tab.

inserting 100% stacked line chart with markers

  • This chart will give you a 100% stacked line chart with markers as shown in the following image.

100% stacked line graph with markers


3D Line Graph in Excel

The 3D line chart will give you a line graph in three dimensions.

  • First, select the data range. Then go to the Insert tab and select the 3D Line chart as shown in the following image.

inserting 3d line chart

  • As a result, you get a 3D Line chart like the one shown in the image below.

3d line graph in excel


How to Customize Line Graph in Excel

1. Change Chart Styles

  • First, click on the chart area.
  • Then, click on the Chart Styles button.
  • You can see various chart styles in the Style box.
  • Select your preferred one.

changing the chart styles

  • And, we have our desired chart style as you can see in the following image.

changing the chart styles


2. Select Data Series from Chart Filters

  • Click on the Chart Filters button.
  • You can see all the active data series being marked.
  • Unmark those series that you don’t want.
  • We have unmarked Series1 and the months Feb and Apr from the category.
  • Now, click on the Apply button.

selecting the data series

  • As you can see we have 2 data series in the revised line and also the data points for the month Feb and Apr have been hidden.

result after selecting data series


3. Remove or Add Data Series

  • First, right-click on the chart area.
  • Then, click on the Select Data option from the appearing window.

selecting the source data

  • You can see all the available data series.
  • Select a particular data series (Series 2).
  • Then, select the Remove button.
  • And, click OK.

removing data series

  • As a result, you can see we have removed the Series2 data series.

showing result after removing a data series

  • Now, we want to add the Series2 data series.
  • Similarly, go to the data source and click on the Add button.

adding a new data series

  • A new window named Edit Series will appear.
  • Give the series a suitable name (Series 2).
  • Then, in the Series values box, insert the new data series(D6:D17) with the mouse and click OK.

inserting data source

  • Finally, you can see, we have added the new data series to the previous line graph.

showing result after adding new data series


4. Format Chart Area

  • The format chart area has the most customizing features.
  • Right-click on the chart area and select Format Chart Area.

steps for format chart area

  • The Format Chart Area window will open.
  • Here you can choose different Fill colors and also you can add a Border to your line chart.

changing fill color and adding border

  • Now, click on any data series.
  • And, from the Fill section, you can customize the series color, width, etc.

customize the data series

  • Also, you can add a convenient Marker to the data series.

customize data series markers

Read More: How to Edit a Line Graph in Excel


Things to Remember

  • Select your input data carefully. You can include the table header in the Recommended Charts method. But for other cases, you must not include the table header.
  • Use different methods according to your requirements.
  • To give a better look, you should learn to customize your line graph.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How Can I Add Data Labels to My Line Graph in Excel?

Right-click on your line graph. Then from the Context menu select Add Data Labels option. And, the data labels will be added.

2. Can I Change the Color or Style of the Lines in My Line Graph?

Yes, you can easily change the color or style of lines in your line graph. Select your line graph. Then you can change the chart style from the Chart Design tab.

3. How Do I Add A Trendline to My Line Graph in Excel?

First, select your line graph. Then navigate to the Context menu and select the Add Trendline option. You can also customize the trendline from the Format Trendline section.


Conclusion

In this article, we have described everything about line graph in Excel. We have provided you with 9 articles that shows how to insert line graph in Excel for different cases. We hope you find the content of this article useful. If there are further queries or suggestions, feel free to mention them in the comment section. You can find similar informative articles like this one on our website ExcelDemy.com.


Line Graph in Excel: Knowledge Hub


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Sourav Kundu
Sourav Kundu

Sourav Kundu, BSc, Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, is a dedicated technical content creator of the ExcelDemy project. He has a keen interest in Excel and he leverages his problem-solving skills to provide solutions on user interface with Excel. In his position as an Excel & VBA Content Developer at ExcelDemy, Sourav Kundu not only adeptly addresses challenging issues but also demonstrates enthusiasm and expertise in navigating complex situations. Apart from creating... Read Full Bio

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