Excel Line Chart (Table of Contents)
What is Line Graphs / Chart in Excel?
Line Chart in Excel is created to display trend graphs from time to time. In simple words, a Line graph is used to show changes over time to time. By creating a Line chart in Excel, we can represent the most typical data.
In Excel, to represent data in pictorial format charts and graphs are used. There are so many types of charts in excel. Line Chart in excel is the most popular and used charts.
Types of Line Charts / Graphs in Excel
There are different categories of line charts that can be created in Excel.
- 2D Line Charts
- 3D Line Charts
#1 – 2D Line Graph in Excel
The 2D Line is a basic graph in Excel. This will be taken for a single data set. Below is the image for that.
These are again divided as
Stacked Line Graph in Excel
This stacked line chart in Excel is used to show how the data will be changed over time.
This can be shown by below diagram.
In the graph, all the 4 data sets are represented by using 4 line charts in one graphs by using 2 axes.
100% Stacked Line Graph in Excel
This is similar to the stacked line graph in excel. The only difference is that in this y-axis shows % values rather than normal values. Also, this graph contains a top line. This is the 100% line. This will run across the top of the chart.
This can be shown in the below figure.
Line with Markers in Excel
This type of line graph in excel will contain pointers at each data point. This can be used to represent data for those every point is important.
The Point marks represent the data points where they are present. On hovering the mouse on the point the values corresponding to that data point is known.
Stacked Line with Markers
100% Stacked Line with Markers
#2 – 3D Line Graph in Excel
This line graph in excel is shown in 3D format.
In the below line graph is the 3D line graph. All the lines are represented in 3D format.
All these graphs are types of Line charts in Excel. The representation is different from chart to chart. As per the requirement, you can create the line chart in excel.
How to Make a Line Graph in Excel?
Below are the examples to create a Line chart in Excel.
Line Chart in Excel Example #1
The Line graph can be used in multiple data sets also. Here is the example for creating a line chart in excel.
In the above graph, we have multiple datasets, to represent that data also we have used a line graph.
Select all the data and go to Insert Tab, select Line graph from Charts and then the required chart will be displayed.
Then the line chart in excel created looks like as given below:
Line Chart in Excel Example #2
There are two columns in the table. Employee and Salary. Those 2 columns are represented in a line chart by using a basic line chart in Excel. The Employee names are taken on X-Axis, and Salary is taken on Y-Axis. From those columns, that data is represented Pictorial form using a line graph.
Step 1: Goto Insert Menu -> Charts Tab -> Select Line Charts Symbol, and in that we can select the customized line chart as per the requirement.
Then the Chart looks like as given below.
This is the basic process of how to use a line graph in our representation.
To represent a Line graph in excel, we need 2 necessary components. They are Horizontal axis and vertical axis.
The Horizontal Axis is called X-Axis and vertical Axis is called Y-axis.
There is one more component called “Legend”. It is the line in which the graph is represented.
One more component is Plot Area. This is the area where the graph will be plotted. Hence it is called Plot area.
The above explanation can be represented in the below diagram.
The X-axis and Y-axis are used to represent the scale of the graph. The Legend is the blue line in which graph is represented. This is more useful when the graph contains more than one line to represent. Next is the Plot Area. This is the area where the Graph can be plotted.
In the Line graph if there are multiple datasets to represent the data, and if the axes are different for all the columns, we can change the scale of the axes and represent the data.
From this Line graph, timeline graphs can be easily represented i.e., if the data is containing years or data related to time then it can be represented in a better way compared to other graphs. For easy understanding, we can represent a line graph with points on it also.
For example, Sales of a company during a period. Salary of an employee over a period etc.
Relevance and Uses of Line Graph in Excel
The Line Graph can be used for,
- Single dataset.
The data having a single data set can be represented in excel using a line graph over a period. This can be illustrated with an example.
- Multiple Datasets
The Line graph can also be represented for multiple datasets.
The different data set is represented using a different color legend. Here in the above example, Revenue is represented by a Blue color line, Customer Purchase % can be represented by using an Orange color line, Sales by grey line and the last one Profit% by using Yellow line.
Customizations can be done to the graph after inserting the Line graph such as formatting grid lines, changing the chart title to a user-defined name, Changing the scales of the axis. This can be done by right click on the chart.
Formatting the grid lines: Grid lines can be removed or change as per our requirement by using an option called formatting grid lines. This can be done by,
right click on chart-> Format gridlines.
In that, we can select the types of gridlines as per the requirement or can remove the grid lines completely.
The 3 options on the top right side of the graph are the options for the graph to customize the graph.
The “+” symbol will have the checkboxes of what options to select in the graph to exist.
The “Paint” symbol is used to select the style of the chart to be used and the color of the line.
The “Filter” symbol indicates what part of the data should be represented on the graph.
Customize Line Chart in Excel
These are some default customizations done to Line Chart in Excel.
#1 – Changing the Line Chart Title:
The Chart title can be changed as per the user requirement for better understanding or the same as the name of the table for better understanding. That can be shown as below.
The cursor should be placed in the “chart Title” area and user defined name can be written in place of Chart title.
#2 – Changing the Color of Legend
The Colour of the Legend can also be changed as shown in the below screenshot.
#3 – Changing the Scale of the Axis
The scale of the axis can be changed if there is a requirement. IF there are more datasets with different scales, then the scale of the axis can be changed.
This can be done by a given process.
Right click on any of the lines. Now select format Data series. A window will be shown on the right side and in that select secondary axis. Now click OK as shown in the below figure,
#4 – Formatting the Gridlines
Gridlines can be formatted, i.e., they can be changed or removed completely. This can be done as per the requirement.
This can be shown from the below figure.
After Right clicking on the gridlines, select format gridlines from the options, and then a dialog box kind will be opened. In that select the type of grid lines you want.
#5 – Changing the Chart Styles and Color
The Colour of the Chart and style can be changed by using the “+” button on the top right corner. This can be shown in the below figure.
Things to Remember
- Line Graph can be formatted with points in the graph where there is a data point and can also be formatted as per the user requirement.
- The Colour of the Line can also be changed as per the requirement.
- The very important point to remember while creating a line chart in excel is that these line graphs cannot be used for categorical data.
This has been a guide to Line Graphs and Chart in Excel. Here we discuss how to create a Line Chart / Graph in Excel along with practical examples and downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –