How to Shade an Area of a Graph in Excel (With Easy Steps)

Excel is a very powerful software. We can perform numerous operations on our datasets with many different Excel tools and features. Using various charts and graphs, you can present survey results very clearly and effectively. Sometimes, presenting the results with the graphs alone is not enough. You may need to Shade certain Areas of a Graph to make it more appealing. This is also useful when presenting relative data values among multiple factors. In this article, we’ll show you the step-by-step procedures to Shade an Area of a Graph in Excel.

How to Shade an Area of a Graph in Excel (With Easy Steps)

We can apply the Stacked Area charts to shade an area of a graph. But, that’s too simple. This article will show you the advanced ways to shade an area of a graph when we have multiple factors. So, this will help you to perform a comparative analysis. In this example, we’ll consider a watersports business. They offer the Activity cruise, Nature cruise, and Sunset cruise. Here, we will analyze the business in 4 Seasons. Therefore, go through the below steps to Shade an Area of a Graph in Excel.

STEP 1: Input Data

  • First, input your necessary information in an Excel worksheet.
  • For this case, we input the Seasons.
  • Then, we insert the total number of people on each cruise in the respective seasons.

STEP 2: Create Minimum & Maximum Columns

  • Now, create a new column named Maximum.
  • Here, we’ll retrieve the maximum number of people from a particular season.
  • For that purpose, select cell F5.
  • Next, type the formula:
  • Press Enter.
  • Subsequently, use the AutoFill tool to complete the rest.

  • Moreover, we’ll add the Minimum column.
  • Choose cell G5 to type the formula:
  • After that, press Enter to get the minimum number of people.
  • Consequently, use AutoFill to fill in the rest.

Read More: How to Create an Area Chart in Excel

STEP 3: Insert Line Graph in Excel

  • Firstly, select the range B4:G8.
  • Then, go to the Insert tab.
  • Click the 2-D Line graph from the Charts section.
  • As a result, it’ll return the picture below.

  • In this example, we want to perform a relative analysis of Nature Cruise only.
  • So, select the other lines (Sunset and Activity) and press Delete.
  • Thus, you’ll see the Nature Cruise series only.

Read More: Stacked Area Chart with Line in Excel

STEP 4: Add Maximum Line & Format to Shade an Area

  • Click on the chart at first.
  • Get the Context Menu by right-clicking the mouse.
  • Consequently, click Select Data.

shade an area of a graph in excel

  • The Select Data Source dialog box will pop out.
  • In the Legend Entries field, press Add and select the Maximum column.
  • Then, choose the Season column in the Horizontal Axis Labels box.
  • Afterward, press OK.

shade an area of a graph in excel

  • Thus, you’ll get the Maximum line.
  • Now, select the line and go to the Insert tab.
  • Press the 2-D Stacked Area chart.

shade an area of a graph in excel

  • Hence, you’ll see the following figure.

shade an area of a graph in excel

Read More: Excel Stacked Area Chart Change Order

STEP 5: Place Minimum Line & Shade an Area of a Graph

  • Again, select the chart.
  • Then, go to the Select Data option from the Context Menu.
  • In the pop-out dialog box, choose the Minimum column in the Legend Entries.
  • Select the Season column as shown in the red-marked box.
  • Afterward, press OK.

shade an area of a graph in excel

  • Thus, you’ll get the below graph.
  • Here, the Minimum series is added to the graph.

shade an area of a graph in excel

  • Now, select the Minimum line.
  • Choose the 2-D Area chart as demonstrated below.

shade an area of a graph in excel

  • Therefore, you’ll see the shaded regions.
  • See the following picture to understand clearly.

shade an area of a graph in excel

Read More: Excel Area Chart Data Label Position

Final Output

We need to perform some finishing touches to get the graph exactly as we want.

  • Select the Minimum series.
  • Choose Format Data Series from the Context Menu.

shade an area of a graph in excel

  • As a result, it’ll return the Format Data Series pane.
  • Under the Fill tab, check the circle for Solid Fill.
  • After that, choose the Color White.
  • Choose No line in Border.

shade an area of a graph in excel

  • Hence, you’ll get a figure which is easy to understand.

  • At last, we will remove the Gridlines.
  • Select the Gridline and press Delete.
  • Finally, our graph is ready to present.
  • The lower boundary of the shaded region is the Minimum line.
  • The upper one is the Maximum.
  • The Green colored line is our Nature cruise series.
  • This figure gives us a comparative study of the Nature cruise throughout the seasons.

Download Practice Workbook

Download the following workbook to practice by yourself.


Henceforth, you will be able to Shade an Area of a Graph in Excel following the above-described procedures. Keep using them and let us know if you have more ways to do the task. Follow the ExcelDemy website for more articles like this. Don’t forget to drop comments, suggestions, or queries if you have any in the comment section below.

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Aung Shine
Aung Shine

Aung Shine completed his bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. It has been almost 2 years since he joined SOFTEKO and actively working on the ExcelDemy project. Currently he works as a Team Leader where he guides his team members to create technical content. He has published 150+ articles and reviewed 50+ articles. He has also solved various user problems before. He has interests in Data Analysis, Power Query, Advanced Excel,... Read Full Bio

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