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How to Create a Line Chart in Excel 2010

If you are looking for a quick and easy way to display trend data for a period of time, like stock prices, the best chart to use is the line chart and its variants. Excel comes the option to chart data using various line charts that allow you to customize the look and feel of the chart based on your needs. The tools to customize charts are too many and will be covered in more detail in upcoming how-to guides. In the meantime review this how-to so that you can learn how to create line charts in Excel.

I am attaching the Excel spreadsheet I used for this tutorial so that you can follow along.

Download Excel Spreadsheet of Microsoft Stock Prices – msft-stocks-line-graph

Note: I used Excel 2010 in this tutorial, but these instructions will apply to Excel 2007 as well.

Create a Line Chart in Excel

createalinechartinexcel2010 thumb How to Create a Line Chart in Excel 2010

1. Click on the Row of data you wish to include in the line chart.

2. Click on the Insert tab in the Office Ribbon.

3. Click on the Line button in the Charts group.

4. Click on the Line Chart type you wish to use.

createalinechartinexcel2010a thumb How to Create a Line Chart in Excel 2010

When you click on the Line Chart type a chart representing the selected data will appear. The chart is sitting in the same sheet the data is listed, let’s move the chart to it’s own sheet.

How to Move the Chart to Another Location

Moving the chart to its own sheet helps you keep the data and the charts organized. It also helps when you are printing just the charts for handouts, etc.

createalinechartinexcel2010b thumb How to Create a Line Chart in Excel 2010

1. Right-click on the chart you just created.

2. Click on Move Chart from the menu.

createalinechartinexcel2010c thumb How to Create a Line Chart in Excel 2010

3. Select New sheet:

4. Name the new sheet.

5. Click OK to complete the move.

createalinechartinexcel2010d thumb How to Create a Line Chart in Excel 2010

The chart should now be in its own sheet.

Customize the Chart

createalinechartinexcel2010e thumb How to Create a Line Chart in Excel 2010

When you click on the chart you will notice that the Office Ribbon changes and now displays Chart Tools in Green. Under Chart Tools you will find three tabs that are specific to customizing the chart.

1. Click on the chart to make sure the Chart Tools are visible.

2. In the Design tab, click on the a Chart layout in the Chart Layouts group.

Use the rest of the tools to customize the look and feel of your chart.

  • Pie1586

    booo!

  • Mist42nz

    That’s how to do the first (easy) line, how do I add the second (or subsequent series)

    • http://www.gilsmethod.com Gilberto J Perera

      Here’s the guide on adding a second line – How to Add A Second Axis to Your
      Charts in Excel

      Hope it helps…

      Regards,

      *Gilberto J Perera*, Microsoft MVP
      Editor-in-Chief, GilsMethod.com | Tech How-to
      Guides for the Rest of Us™
      Like the GilsMethod.com Facebook page for a
      chance to win an iPod Touch and other prizes.

  • http://twitter.com/raiha Raiha

    Hi Gilberto, thanks for such a useful tutorial! I hope you will have more on Powerpoint and Excel in tthe future!

  • http://twitter.com/raiha Raiha

    Hi Gilberto, thanks for such a useful tutorial! I hope you will have more on Powerpoint and Excel in tthe future!

  • http://twitter.com/raiha Raiha

    Hi Gilberto, thanks for such a useful tutorial! I hope you will have more on Powerpoint and Excel in tthe future!

  • http://twitter.com/raiha Raiha

    Hi Gilberto, thanks for such a useful tutorial! I hope you will have more on Powerpoint and Excel in tthe future!

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    You really know your Excel. I need to learn some… I need to set up an income / expenses sheet for my taxes… Oh dear.

  • http://www.cddvdcases.net/ CD DVD Cases

    You really know your Excel. I need to learn some… I need to set up an income / expenses sheet for my taxes… Oh dear.

  • http://www.cddvdcases.net/ CD DVD Cases

    You really know your Excel. I need to learn some… I need to set up an income / expenses sheet for my taxes… Oh dear.

  • http://www.cddvdcases.net/ CD DVD Cases

    You really know your Excel. I need to learn some… I need to set up an income / expenses sheet for my taxes… Oh dear.