Skip to Main Content
site header image

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

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 Charts tab. You should see several options for creating charts: column, line, pie, bar, area, scatter, and other. 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 Layout and Format tabs should appear. After selecting Chart Layout, click Axes to add a title on the X and Y axes and click Legend to make changes to the legend.


Screenshot of Axis Title and Legend Options in Excel

Adding Trendlines

To add a trendline, go to the Chart Layout tab. Click Trendline 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 (two finger click with a trackpad) 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