How to Overlay Line Graphs in Excel (3 Suitable Examples)

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Overlaying graphs is very important for comparing two or more parameters with each other visually. Having two or more datasets with the same variable is very common in real-life statistics. If the graphs of these datasets represent the same variable and measurement units, they can be plotted overlaid with each other. Also, the line graph is a useful tool in these statistics that can help track changes over time or other parameters. In this tutorial, we are going to discuss how to overlay line graphs in Excel.


How to Overlay Line Graphs in Excel: 3 Suitable Examples

In this tutorial, we will focus on demonstrating three different examples of three different overlays of line graphs with different types of graphs. Methods can vary slightly, but the main goal is the same- plot all of the graphs on one plot area. Keep in mind that the units we are measuring and the variables of different graphs should be the same in these overlaid graphs in the first place. We will plot all these types of graphs from the same dataset which is below.

In the light of the figure, we can see sales of different stores are in the dataset by different months. All months are situated in the same row and all sales are measured in the same unit (dollar currency). So, this dataset is compatible with overlaying graph requirements. Now we will overlay line graphs with different types of graphs with the help of this dataset in Excel.


1. Overlay Line Graph with Another Line Graph

In the first example, we are going to overlay line graphs with each other in Excel. As a matter of fact, Excel automatically overlays line graphs with each other when all you plot is line graphs from different parameters. Follow these simple steps to plot line graphs that overlay with each other in Excel.

Steps:

  • First, select the whole dataset (the range B4:E10).
  • Then go to the Insert tab on your ribbon.
  • After that, select Recommended Charts from the Charts group.

how to overlay line graphs in excel

  • As a result, the Insert Chart box will open up. Of course, you can plot one from the Recommended Charts But to overlay line graphs with each other and other types of graphs in Excel, let’s focus on plotting them manually.
  • To plot and overlay these graphs manually in Excel, go to the All Charts tab in the box.
  • Then select Line as the chart type from the left of the box and from the right, select Line (the first one) and the type of line graph you want.

  • Once you have selected the type of graph, click on OK.
  • Thus, a chart will appear with overlaying line graphs over the Excel spreadsheet.

  • Now, let’s make the chart more presentable by modifying it a bit.

how to overlay line graphs in excel

This is how we can automatically overlay line graphs in Excel.

Read More: How to Combine Two Line Graphs in Excel


2. Overlay Line Graph with Column Chart

Overlaying line graphs with other types of graphs like column or bar charts is a bit of a different process and we have to manually put them together. Such combinations are useful when we have to compare the values of one particular series with all others. For example, let’s say we want to compare the sales of store 1 with the rest two. In this case, plotting the first store’s sales in line and the other two’s in columns will help us compare them better in general. As we can see the columns have risen compared with the line. Follow these steps to plot a chart that can overlay line graphs with column graphs.

Steps:

  • First of all, select the whole dataset you want to plot (the range B4:E10).
  • Then go to the Insert tab on your ribbon.
  • After that, select Recommended Charts from the Charts group.

how to overlay line graphs in excel

  • Thus the Insert Chart box will open up. Now select the All Charts tab in it.
  • Next, select Combo as the type from the left side of the box.
  • Then, select the first series chart type as Line and select Clustered Column for the rest from the right. You can find these options in the drop-downs under the section labeled Choose the chart type and axis for your data series as shown in the figure below.

how to overlay line graphs in excel

  • After clicking on OK, a chart will appear on your Excel spreadsheet where line graphs will overlay with clustered columns.

  • Finally, modify it to your liking and make it more presentable.

how to overlay line graphs in excel

Thus you can create charts in Excel that overlay line graphs with columns or other types of graphs.

Read More: How to Combine Bar and Line Graph in Excel


3. Overlay Line Graph with Scatter Chart

Likewise, we can plot charts where line graphs overlay with other types of graphs in Excel. For example, we can overlay line graphs with smooth scatter graphs- which we will demonstrate in this section. Similar to the previous example we need to put them manually with each other. Follow these steps to overlay line graphs with smooth scatter graphs in Excel.

Steps:

  • First of all, select the range B4:E10 (the whole dataset we are plotting).
  • After that, go to the Insert tab on your Excel ribbon.
  • Then select Recommended Charts from the Charts group.

how to overlay line graphs in excel

  • Consequently, the Insert Chart box will open up. Now go to the All Charts tab in it.
  • Then select Combo as the chart type from the left of the box.
  • After that, select Line as the first chart’s type and Scatter with Smooth Lines and Markers as chart types of the other two. You can change these types from the drop-down menus beside each series under the sections labeled as Choose the chart type and axis for your data series.

how to overlay line graphs in excel

  • Finally, click on OK. Now you will have a chart appearing on top of the Excel spreadsheet where line graphs overlay with scatter graphs.

Here, the straight solid line with breaks represents the line graph and the smooth lines are the scatter graphs.

  • Now modify the graph to your liking and make it more presentable for future use.

how to overlay line graphs in excel

Thus you can create charts in Excel that overlay line graphs with scatter or other types of graphs.


Download Practice Workbook

You can download the workbook used for the demonstration of this article with the dataset and overlaid graphs from the download link below. Try downloading and practicing yourself while you go through the tutorial.


Conclusion

That concludes our guide on how to overlay line graphs in Excel. Keep in mind, that you can create any types of combo you want by following the second and third examples and selecting the type of graphs you want. Hopefully, you are now able to plot overlaid line graphs easily in Excel. I hope you found this guide helpful and informative. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments below.


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Abrar-ur-Rahman Niloy
Abrar-ur-Rahman Niloy

Abrar-ur-Rahman Niloy, holding a B.Sc. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, has contributed to Exceldemy for nearly 1.5 years. As a leader in Excel, VBA, and Content Development teams, he authored 114+ articles and assisted the Exceldemy forum. Presently, as a project writer, he prioritizes stepping out of his comfort zone, aiming for constant technical improvement. Niloy's interests encompass Excel & VBA, Pivot Table, Power Query, Python, Data Analysis, and Machine Learning libraries, showcasing his commitment to diverse... Read Full Bio

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