How to Create a Multi-Line Line Chart in Excel

Written by danielle cort
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How to Create a Multi-Line Line Chart in Excel
You can plot chart lines in different colours for best contrast. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Whether you are creating a chart for a presentation or a paper, a chart can quickly summarise information visually. Line charts are best suited to presenting information that trends over time or for showing forecasts. A line can show progress or continuity in your data, and multiple lines can show relationships among different pieces of data. Excel allows you to present multiple lines in the same graph, provided you lay out your data in a table.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Launch Excel and open an empty spreadsheet.

  2. 2

    Enter your data in columns and rows. Label the rows with categorical names or types. Rows often represent trends. Label the columns with numerical names. Columns represent data that changes. For example, if you want to plot the temperature over the course of a week in different cities, label columns B through H "Monday" through "Sunday." Label the rows with names of cities. For example, A2 could be "New York," A3 could be "Chicago" and A4 could be "San Francisco." Enter each cell's respective values in the table.

  3. 3

    Highlight the entire table you created.

  4. 4

    Click "Insert" on the Ribbon.

  5. 5

    Click the "Line" button in the Charts group.

  6. 6

    Click to select the style for your line chart. Excel will automatically insert a multi-line line chart in the spreadsheet below your table.

  7. 7

    Click the chart and edit the various elements. You can edit the chart title, the axis label, colours for your lines and fonts.

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