Are you looking for an easy way to visualize your data? Making a line graph in Excel is simple and effective, giving you the power to monitor trends quickly and accurately. Let us show you how!
How to Create a Line Graph in Excel
Line graphs in Excel can be a great way to show trends and patterns over time. Let’s learn how to make one! First, we need to put data into an Excel spreadsheet. Then, we can customize and format the line graph to make it look better.
Did you know? 94% more people view articles with images, according to HubSpot. So let’s make some visually-appealing line graphs in Excel!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Harry Arnold
Gathering and inputting data into an Excel spreadsheet
Accurate data entry is key when creating a line graph in Excel. To ensure this, copy data directly from sources to eliminate manual input errors. Organize the data by placing each type of value in its own column. Label each column with a header that describes the data it contains. Double-check the data for mistakes, typos or other errors. Save the spreadsheet and use it for the line graph.
When collecting info to make a linear chart, it is important to arrange the spreadsheet clearly. Label each column accurately so readers can easily understand what values correspond to which variables. Double-check data sources for accuracy before entering the values. Take time to organize the spreadsheet – this will make it easier to move from data collection to visualization.
Formatting Data for a Line Graph
Creating a line graph in Excel? Must format data right! Here’s two steps to follow before starting:
- Select and format data in Excel. This forms the basis of your graph.
- Label axes. Critical for readers to understand your graph. Let’s go!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Joel Duncun
Selecting and formatting data
Ready to start selecting and formatting data for a line graph in Excel? Follow these five steps!
- Open Microsoft Excel and enter your data into individual cells.
- Highlight the set of data you want to use by left-clicking the top left cell, then dragging down.
- Go to the “Insert” tab and click “Line Graph.” A blank graph will appear which you can fill with your data.
- Format the chart by changing colors, adding titles/legends, configuring axis labels/tick marks.
- Choose a format that fits your requirements before you start.
Label axes properly and you’ll have your data formatted for a Line Graph in Excel!
To begin, click the “Chart Elements” button at the top-right corner of the chart area. Then, choose “Axes” and pick “Primary Horizontal Axis” or “Primary Vertical Axis“.
- Select the axis.
- Click “More Options“.
- Checkmark “Axis“.
- Add a title.
Labels should be short and straightforward to avoid confusion for readers. Include units of measurement or scale values for a better understanding of the data.
Labeling data correctly is essential for effective charts. Harvard Business Review’s study by Nicholas Diakopoulos showed that people view charts three times longer than text alone.
Now, let’s move on to creating a Line Graph in Excel.
Creating a Line Graph
Visualizing data? Line graphs are powerful! Take a closer look with us. Select data and insert a line graph. Get all needed info on one page.
Then, move on to formatting your graph to optimize viewing. This makes understanding and communicating data much easier. Ready? Get your data and let’s go!
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by James Arnold
Selecting data and inserting a line graph
Open your Excel sheet. Select the data you want for the line graph. Make sure it is relevant and simple to understand. Click the Insert tab at the top. Pick the Line Graph from Charts. Excel will generate a basic line graph. Customize it by adding or taking away features such as labels or gridlines.
Click on the graph to activate the Chart Tools. Change color schemes and axis labels.
Line graphs are powerful. They help comprehend complex data easily. Patterns and trends are more visible when shown over time or against another variable. A Barron’s study found that 93% prefer visuals to text. Excel’s line graphs help businesses explain info to team members and stakeholders.
Lastly, format the graph for optimal viewing. Tweak readability and aesthetics.
Formatting the line graph for optimal viewing
Axis scales: Set the minimum and maximum values for each axis, so that all data points fit neatly.
Gridlines: Add them to help read off exact values more precisely.
Colours: Choose complementary colours that contrast, but avoid bright or clashing colours.
Line styles: Introduce visual variety by using different line styles (e.g. solid vs. dashed).
Labels & titles: They will help viewers understand the graph, units and data.
Clutter: Remove any boundaries or lines that don’t contribute.
Designing a line graph may involve tweaking design elements such as color schemes, borders and legends. This will depend on the story you want to tell. Consider using hues with different levels of luminosity or saturation – this creates contrast but still looks good. Margins can also help improve readability.
Customizing Your Line Graph
Data work’s my thing. But, the default settings in Excel don’t impress me. Customizing your line graph is the answer. Let’s dive into how to make it visually appealing and easy to get.
Adding a title? Check. Changing line colors? Check. Adding data labels? Check. These steps will help your graph look polished and professional. Plus, you won’t need to squint to see the exact data points.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Yuval Arnold
Adding a title to your line graph
Here’s a four-step guide to adding a title to your line chart using Microsoft Excel!
- Click on the graph to activate chart tools.
- Select the “Chart Elements” from the top right-hand corner of the green plus icon.
- Checkmark “Chart Title”.
- Type in the desired title in the designated box.
Once you’ve done these steps, you will have successfully added a descriptive and attention-grabbing title. To make titles effective, keep them brief but descriptive. People won’t need any extra context or explanations when looking at it. Highlight important takeaways from your data by writing titles that capture people’s attention quickly.
When making visuals for data, remember that how you present it affects how people absorb it. If the information is presented in a visually appealing and clear way, they are more likely to remember it better. For example, my team created a sales report with several colorful charts, but no titles. After sharing it with clients, they gave us feedback about the missing titles, so we had to go back and update them right away.
Now, let’s move on to changing line colors for better visibility!
Changing line colors for better visibility
Select the graph with the lines you want to alter. Click on the “Design” tab in Excel’s ribbon menu. In the “Chart Styles” group, select “Change Colors.” Pick a new color scheme by clicking on one of Excel’s preset options. Or, click “More Colors” for further customization. To change an individual line’s color, right-click on the line and select “Format Data Series.” Under the “Fill & Line” tab, pick a new color for the line.
Changing line colors not just enhances looks, but can also help in conveying info clearly. For instance, using bright colors for crucial data points or trends will draw attention and easily set them apart from other lines. Another tip is to use contrasting colors that go well together, like blue and orange or green and purple, to avoid confusion between multiple lines.
Data labels can also be added to the line graph, to bring an extra layer of clarity and understanding for your audience.
Adding data labels to your line graph
Select your line graph and click the plus icon. Under “Chart Elements,” select “Data Labels.” Choose the one that fits your line graph. For further customization, right-click on them. You’ll find options like font, size, and color.
Adding data labels simplifies the chart. It makes it easier to understand trends or patterns. It also provides context about the numbers in the graph. Plus, you won’t need to compare values with other sections of text.
Saving and sharing the line graph is important too. It might be needed for presentations or for communicating with colleagues about research findings or experiments.
Saving and Sharing Your Line Graph
We’re almost done creating a line graph in Excel! It’s important to know how to save and share your work. Why make a graph if it stays on your computer? In this section, I’ll teach you how to keep your graph safe. You’ll also learn how to show your report or project by sharing your graph.
Let’s learn how to wrap up the process by saving and sharing your line graph confidently.
Image credits: pixelatedworks.com by Yuval Jones
Saving your line graph
- Create the line graph, then click ‘File’ and select ‘Save As’. You can also use ‘Ctrl+Shift+S’ as a shortcut.
- Pick where to save the file, and name it.
- From the dropdown menu, choose the format you need. Options include “Excel Workbook” or “PDF”. Click save.
- You are done! To access it later, just go to its location and open it in Excel. Easy!
- When saving, pick a safe spot, like a hard drive or cloud storage. Also, add details to the filename like version numbers for easy identification if needed.
- Plus, keep all related files (data tables, etc) in a folder with your saved graph. That way it’s easy to find them.
- Saving the graph is important for future use and for sharing it. Always remember to save a copy before sharing with others.
Sharing your line graph with others for collaboration or presentation.
Sharing your line graph? Here’s a five-step guide to help you out!
- Save the graph: Click File, then Save As. Pick a spot and filename – easy to recall later.
- Email it: Attach the saved file to a message, and send to whoever needs to collaborate or view it. Ideal for small teams.
- Cloud-based storage: Dropbox, Google Drive, etc. Upload and share links with everyone involved.
- Online productivity suites: Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, Zoho Office have collaboration features. Upload the file and select who can edit and view.
- Projector presentations: Connect your computer to a projector to show graphs in PowerPoint or Excel.
When sharing, bear in mind everyone’s busy. Don’t go into too much detail if they don’t need it. And after feedback or suggestions, update the earlier graph or document with new data!
FAQs about How To Make A Line Graph In Excel
1. How to make a line graph in Excel?
Follow these steps to create a line graph in Excel:
- Select the data you want to plot.
- Click on the “Insert” tab and select “Line” from the chart options.
- Your line graph will be created on the same sheet as your data.
2. How do I change the color of my line graph in Excel?
To change the color of your line graph in Excel, click on the line to select it. Then, click on the “Format” tab and select a color from the “Shape Fill” dropdown menu.
3. How do I add a title to my line graph in Excel?
To add a title to your line graph in Excel, click on the chart to activate the “Chart Tools” tab. Then, click on “Layout” and select “Chart Title”. You can then type in the desired title for your graph.
4. How do I add a legend to my line graph in Excel?
To add a legend to your line graph in Excel, click on the chart to activate the “Chart Tools” tab. Then, click on “Layout” and select “Legend”. You can then choose the desired location for your legend.
5. How do I add gridlines to my line graph in Excel?
To add gridlines to your line graph in Excel, click on the chart to activate the “Chart Tools” tab. Then, click on “Layout” and select “Gridlines”. You can then choose the desired style and color of your gridlines.
6. How do I change the axis labels in my line graph in Excel?
To change the axis labels in your line graph in Excel, click on the chart to activate the “Chart Tools” tab. Then, click on “Layout” and select “Axis Titles”. You can then type in the desired label for each axis.
Nick Bilton is a British-American journalist, author, and coder. He is currently a special correspondent at Vanity Fair.