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Create Line Charts in Excel – Types | Features | Tips

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Line Charts in Excel are one of the finest ways to present your data when you want to display the value of the trends that take place over time. Line Charts are also known as Line Graph, Line Plot, or even Curve Chart. These charts are frequently used in the fields of Analysis, Science, Statistics, to display the trends taken over a period.

Line Charts in Excel Tutorial

Like other charts, Line Charts also has two axes. They are the Vertical Axis which is the Y-Axis that presents the numeric values. On the other hand, Horizontal Axis, which is the X-Axis that presents time or period or another category.

They are very convenient for users because they express data and trends very clearly. It uses data points as markers as they are usually linking straight lines.

Types of Line Charts –

  1. Stacked Line: Stacked Line chart are used to show a variety of sets of points which are connected by a line. Generally, in this type of chart, the lines usually do not overlap this is because they will be cumulative at each point. This type of chart usually does not represent both positive and negative values all at once.
  2. 100%Stacked line: It is similar to the Stacked Line. 100%Stacked line is a line chart where lines usually do not overlap because they will be cumulative at each point also It depends upon the data set. Here the Y-axis always presents data in percentages.
  3. Line with Markers: In this Line chart the data points are highlighted with the markers.
  4. Stacked Line with Markers: A stacked line chart presents a variety of sets of points that are connected by a line, with data points highlighted with markers. Markers can be circles, squares, triangles, or other shapes that mark the plotted data.
  5. 100%Stacked Line with Markers: These type of charts is recommended when you have small data sets, this is the same as 100%stacked line chart here only the data sets are been highlighted with markers.
  6. 3-D Line:  This shows up data with a 3-D visual effect.

Features of Line Charts –

  1. This type of chart is used to show information especially on changing trends taking place over time.
  2. It displays large sets of data set.
  3. Line Charts are simple and it is also the most beneficial tool.
  4. Values are plotted as points and which are linked using line segments.
  5. Shows the relationship between multiple data sets.

Pros & Cons of Line Charts –

  1. Line Chart is usually simple to construct and even easy to read.
  2. Neat presentation of large data sets.
  3. Used for showing trends over time.
  4. It can display both positive and negative values.
  5. It becomes difficult to understand when lines overlap.
  6. Due to uneven class intervals, it develops more complexity for the users to understand.

How to Create a Line Chart?

The foremost step is your data set, here in this example we have taken monthly sales report with actual sales and targeted sales.

Step-1: Enter the data in the spreadsheet and select the entire data

data selection for line charts

Step-2: Insert Chart

Go to Insert>Select a line chart.

insert option in line charts

Step-3: Your line chart will look like this

line chart data output

Step-4: You can also customize your Line charts as follows

  • To change your chart Axis, right-click on the chart, and select “change chart Format Axis”.
customization option format axis
  • Reset the minimum value to 1000.
minimum and maximum value in axis options
  • To add Trendline, Be on the chart, Go to Chart Design > Add Chart Element >Trendline > Linear > Add Trendline.
example how to add trendline
  • By click on Chart Elements, you can customize your chart elements as per your requirements.
chart element customization

Your Line chart will look like this

line chart output

Some quick tips for designing beautiful Line charts

  1. Have a title for your chart so that the users can understand and relate to the topic is about.
  2. Always make sure that you use only a single type of font.
  3. Avoid using multiple bright colors such that the users read without any difficulty or distraction.
  4. Keep it as simple as you can.

Visit our YouTube channel to know more about charts in excel.

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