A line graph shows the trend and makes the data easy to understand by connecting different data points. The change in multiple variables in relation to a specific variable can easily be represented by a line graph in Excel. If you are looking for some special tricks to make a line graph with 3 variables in Excel, you’ve come to the right place. There is one way to make a line graph with 3 variables in Excel. This article will discuss every step of this method. Let’s follow the complete guide to learn all of this.
Download Practice Workbook
Download this practice workbook to exercise while you are reading this article. It contains all the datasets in different spreadsheets for a clear understanding. Try yourself while you go through the step-by-step process.
Overview of Line Graph in Excel
Essentially, a line graph is a visual representation of data that is represented by straight lines connecting data points. It consists of two axes. Independent data are shown on the horizontal axis or X-axis, usually the constant period of time. A vertical axis or Y-axis represents variable data, while a horizontal axis represents fixed data. In addition to showing positive values, a line graph can also show negative values by dropping the line through the horizontal axis. To put it simply, a line graph is a visual representation of a quantitative data set.
Types of Line Graphs in Excel
There are different types of options you can choose from in Excel when you make line graphs. The following are descriptions of 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.
Advantages of Line Graph in Excel
The advantages of Line graphs in Excel are the following:
- The Line Graph is a neat and clean way to present your data.
- It makes it easier to visualize multiple sets of data at the same time.
- It makes relevant information compact and clear to its viewers.
Step-by-Step Procedure to Make Line Graph with 3 Variables in Excel
In the following section, we will use one effective and tricky method to make a line graph with 3 variables in Excel. To create a more understandable line graph, at first, we organize our dataset, then create a line graph with 3 variables, and finally, customize the graph by adding graph elements and editing the graph layout. This section provides extensive details on this method. You should learn and apply these to improve your thinking capability and Excel knowledge. We use the Microsoft Office 365 version here, but you can utilize any other version according to your preference.
Step 1: Prepare Dataset
Here, we will demonstrate how to make a line graph. At first, we have to prepare a dataset containing monthly item sales as shown below. Variables on the X-axis are represented by row headers, while variables on the Y-axis are represented by column headers.
Step 2: Insert Line Graph
Now, we are going to insert a line graph. Let’s walk through the following steps to insert a line graph.
- First of all, select the range of the cells and go to the Insert tab. Next, choose Insert Line or Area Chart and select 2-D Line.
- Therefore, you will be able to insert the following line graph.
Step 3: Switch Row/Column of Graph
Sometimes you need to switch rows and columns of the graph for demonstration purposes. It is necessary to switch rows in the line graph to columns and columns to rows if the column values are shown as rows and the row values are shown as rows. Here, we will demonstrate how to switch rows and columns of the graph. To do this, you have to follow the following process.
- First of all, right-click on the line graph and choose Select Data to do that.
- Next, select Switch Row/Column and click on OK.
- As a consequence, you will get the following line graph.
If you don’t require to organize your line graph, in that condition you don’t need to do this step.
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Step 4: Add Secondary Axis to Graph
Now, we are going to demonstrate how to add a secondary axis to a line graph. Sometimes, you need to add a secondary axis for item 3 sales for making the line graph more presentable. Let’s walk through the following steps to add a secondary axis to the graph.
- First of all, double-click on the line graph for Item 3. Then, the Format Data Series pane will appear on the right. You can also do that by right-clicking on the data series.
- Next, click on the Secondary Axis as shown below.
- Next, you have to double-click on the secondary axis and change the Maximum value to adjust the data series properly.
- Therefore, you will get the following line graph.
Step 5: Add Chart Elements
Now, we will demonstrate how to add graph elements. In Quick Elements, 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.
- Next, you have to 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 right corner of the chart.
- Here, you have to mark the elements to add or unmark the elements to remove.
- You will find an arrow on the element, where you will find other options to edit the elements.
- Next, you have to click on the chart title to rename it as required.
- Then, click on the Chart Elements icon and align the Legend to the right.
- Therefore, you will get the following line graph.
Step 6: Finalize Line Graph with 3 Variables
This is the result you will get after applying some text formatting and outline formatting.
- To modify the chart style, select Chart Design and then, select your desired Style 7 option from the Chart Styles group.
- Finally, you will get the following line graph.
💬 Things to Remember
✎ Before inserting a line graph, you must select anywhere in the dataset. The rows and columns will need to be manually added otherwise.
✎ When working with a large dataset, avoid line graphs since they will create confusing graph information.
✎ Before switching rows and columns, make sure they are all selected.
That’s the end of today’s session. I strongly believe that from now you may be able to make a line graph in Excel with 3 variables. If you have any queries or recommendations, please share them in the comments section below.
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