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How to Use Microsoft Excel: Charts & Graphs (Windows)

Creating a Chart

To create a chart, you must first input your data into Excel and select the range of cells you want to include. Then click the Insert tab. You should then see several options for creating charts: column, line, pie, bar, area, scatter, and more. Choose the one that best meets your needs.


Screenshot of Excel's Scatter Plot Graph options

Adding Titles and Legends

Now that you have created your chart, you can edit the title for each axis and modify the legend as needed. Click anywhere on your chart; the Chart Tools tabs should appear along the top of the ribbon. Choose Layout. Click Axis Titles to add a title on the X and Y axes and click Legend to make changes to the legend.


Screenshot of Axis Title Options in Excel

Adding Trendlines

To add a trendline, go to the Layout tab. Click Trendlines then select the type of line you need (linear, exponential, linear forecast, two period moving average, and more). The line should appear automatically on your chart.


Screenshot of Trendline options in Excel


To display the equation for the trendline and the R-squared value, click the trendline so it is highlighted on the chart (indicated by a small circle on either end of the line). Right click the trendline and select Format Trendline. When the box shown below appears, select Display Equation on chart and Display R-squared value on chart


Screenshot of Format Trendline options in Excel, including equation for the trendline and the r-squared value


Now you're all done! You should have a chart that includes the elements illustrated below.


Excel Graph Example for Temperature by Day of the Month. Includes trendline, equation for trendline, and r-squared value