How to Make a Line Graph in Microsoft Excel
This wikiHow teaches you how to create a line graph from Microsoft Excel data. You can do this on both Windows and Mac versions of Excel.
Part 1Creating a Line Graph
1Double-click the Excel program icon, which resembles a white "X" on a green folder. Excel will open to its home page. If you already have an Excel spreadsheet with data input, instead double-click the spreadsheet and skip the next two steps.
2It's on the Excel home page. Doing so will open a new spreadsheet for your data. On a Mac, Excel may just open to a blank workbook automatically depending on your settings. If so, skip this step.
3A line graph requires two axes in order to function. Enter your data into two columns. For ease of use, set your X-axis data (time) in the left column and your recorded observations in the right column. For example, tracking your budget over the year would have the date in the left column and an expense in the right.
4Click and drag your mouse from the top-left cell in the data group to the bottom-right cell in the data group. This will highlight all of your data. Make sure you include column headers if you have them.
5It's on the left side of the green ribbon that's at the top of the Excel window. This will open the Insert toolbar below the green ribbon.
6It's the box with several lines drawn on it in the Charts group of options. A drop-down menu will appear.
7Hover your mouse cursor over a line graph template in the drop-down menu to see what it will look like with your data. You should see a graph window pop up in the middle of your Excel window.
8Once you decide on a template, clicking it will create your line graph in the middle of the Excel window.
Part 2Editing Your Graph
1Once you create your graph, the Design toolbar will open. You can change your graph's design and appearance by clicking one of the variations in the "Chart Styles" section of the toolbar. If this toolbar doesn't open, click your graph and then click the Design tab in the green ribbon.
2Click and drag the white space near the top of the line graph to move it. You can also move specific sections of the line graph (e.g., the title) by clicking and dragging them around within the line graph's window.
3Click and drag one of the circles on one of the edges or corners of the graph window in or out to shrink or enlarge your graph.
4Double-click the title of the graph, then select the "Chart Title" text and type in your graph's name. Clicking anywhere off of the graph's name box will save the text. You can do this for your graph's axes' labels as well.