Microsoft Excel is a versatile spreadsheet application that allows users to enter data in columns and rows and then analyse that data using built-in tools. The graphing capabilities of Excel are one way to visualise the flow of data in a spreadsheet. While most users are familiar with the relatively straightforward method of creating a simple line graph, many do not realise that Excel can plot multiple groups of information on the same line graph. If using two groups of data in a line graph, the graph will display two lines. This is an effective way of comparing sets of data quickly in a visual manner.
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Open the Microsoft Excel file that contains the data sets you wish to graph.
Click the "Chart" button on the Excel toolbar. A pop-up chart wizard will appear.
Select the "XY Scatter" chart type and any chart subtype you prefer. The options provide four types of line graphs to suit your style. Press the "Next" button.
Delete anything that is displayed in the "Data Range" field. Select the "Columns" option in the "Series in" field. Then click the "Series" tab.
Create a new series for each line you wish to graph based on a group of data. If you have two groups of data, you will create two series. Click the "Add" button twice to create these two series.
Click on the first series in the "Series" list box.
Type the name of this series in the "Name" field. Specify the ranges for the X values and Y values of this first line group separately in the two other fields.
Click the second line group series in the "Series" list box and fill in the same fields. Press the "Next" button to customise the visual details of the chart, if desired, or alternately press the "Finish" button to display the graph.
Right-click on each line or XY scatter plot and select the "Format Data Series" option if you wish to alter how the lines display. This is useful if the lines are close together so each is uniquely identified.
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