Scatter Chart in Excel (All Things You Need to Know)

We’ll use the following sales information dataset when creating a scatter plot and describing what you can do with it.

scatter chart in excel

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How to Make a Scatter Chart in Excel

  • Select your data range.
  • Go to the Insert tab.
  • Click the drop-down for Insert Scatter (X, Y or Bubble Chart icon under Charts group.
  • Choose Scatter.

Scatter option from Insert tab

  • This command will insert a scatter chart based on the selected data range.

scatter chart in excel

Types of Scatter Charts in Excel

There are a few types of scatter charts available in Excel:

  • Scatter with smooth lines and markers
  • Scatter with smooth lines
  • Scatter with straight lines and markers
  • Scatter with straight lines

When you have a few points of data in Excel, then a scatter chart with lines is the most user-friendly option.

Scatter with smooth lines and markers

For each type of scatter plot, there are two presentation styles available. To unlock the styles:

  • Go to the Insert tab.
  • Click the drop-down for Insert Scatter (X, Y or Bubble Chart icon under Charts group.
  • Select More Scatter Charts.

More Scatter Charts

  • The Insert Chart dialog box will appear. In the X Y (Scatter) tab, you will find two presentation styles for each chart type. You can choose your preferred one from here.

X Y (Scatter)

Correlation in an Excel Scatter Chart

  • Positive Correlation: Positive correlation means a proportional relationship between the variables. So, if one of the variables increases here, the other also does.

Positive correlation

  • Negative Correlation: If one variable increases, the other one decreases.

Negative correlation

  • No Correlation: The variables are just scattered through the chart area.

No correlation

How to Edit a Scatter Chart in Excel

Case 1 – Change Axis Scale

  • Right-click on the Axis title.
  • Select the Format Axis option.

Select Format Axis option

  • On the right corner of the worksheet window, the Format Axis pane will appear.
  • Under the Axis options, you can change the axis scale by changing the Bounds and Units values.

Format Axis options

Case 2 – Add Labels to a Scatter Chart/Plot

  • Click on the chart area.
  • Click the Chart Elements button on the top-right.
  • Click the right arrow of the Data labels option and select More options.

More options for Data Labels

  • The Format Data Labels pane will appear on the right side of the worksheet window.
  • Under the Label Options, put a checkmark on the Value From Cells option in the Label Contains group.
  • In the Data Label dialog box, assign the range of labels in the Select Data Label Range field.
  • Click OK.

Data label range

  • This will insert labels to your data in the scatter plot.
  • You can also replace the position of the labels if they appear so close to one another. Hover over a label, click and hold, then drag it to move it elsewhere.

Data labels in scatter plot

Case 3 – Add a Trendline to a Scatter Plot

  • Right-click on any of the dots.
  • Select the Add Trendline option from the menu.

Add trendline

  • Excel will insert a trendline for your scattered data.

Trendline in Scatter plot

How to Switch Axes in an Excel Scatter Plot

  • Right-click on any axis and click on Select Data from the options.

Select Data option

  • The Select Data Source dialog box will appear. Click on Edit under Legend Entries (Series).

Select Data Source dialog box

  • The Edit Series dialog box will appear.
  • Exchange the values in the Series X values and Series Y values fields.
  • Click OK.

Edit Series dialog box

  • Excel will switch the X and Y axes in the scatter plot.

Swapped X and Y axes

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What data is suitable for creating a scatter plot in Excel?

Scatter plots are ideal for visualizing numerical data sets with two variables. The variables should be continuous and measured on a scale.

2. Can I create a scatter plot with more than two variables in Excel?

An Excel scatter plot typically shows the relationship between two variables. However, you can use additional visual elements like color or size to represent a third variable. This technique, known as bubble charts, allows for the inclusion of an extra dimension of data in the scatter plot.

3. Can I analyze data using regression analysis with scatter plots in Excel?

Yes, Excel provides regression analysis tools that can be applied to scatter plots. Regression analysis allows you to estimate and model the relationship between variables, including determining the equation of the best-fit line. This feature enables you to make predictions and draw conclusions based on the scatter plot data.

Scatter Chart in Excel: Knowledge Hub

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Rafiul Hasan
Rafiul Hasan

Rafiul Hasan, holding a BSc in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology, contributes significantly to the ExcelDemy project with almost 1.6 years of dedicated work. Currently an Excel and VBA Content Developer, he has a passion for problem-solving. Authoring over 100 articles for ExcelDemy showcases expertise in Microsoft Office Suites and Data Analysis. In addition to content development, Rafiul actively engages with the ExcelDemy forum, offering valuable solutions to user queries and... Read Full Bio

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