How to Create a Curve Graph in Excel or Word

Image Credit: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

Microsoft Excel 2007 can produce a variety of graphs and charts, including scatter plots, line graphs and pie charts. To create a curved graph, you must provide the raw data for the curve, such as a set of x- and y-values in two columns. The first column tells Excel the x-values, or input, and this will be graphed along the horizontal axis. The second column, the y-values, represents the output numbers, which will be graphed along the vertical axis. These values may be collected from a scientific experiment, as part of statistical research or from other fields that collects data.

Step 1

Input your x-values into the first column, starting at cell A1.

Step 2

Input your y-values into the second column, starting at cell B1.

Step 3

Select "Insert" from the toolbar and choose the "Scatter" button. Choose "Scatter With Smooth Lines" from the drop-down menu.

Step 4

Select the chart by left clicking on it. Go up to the top toolbar and select "Layout" underneath "Chart Tools." Select "Primary Horizontal Axis" from the "Axes" drop-down menu (press the down arrow beneath "Axes" for the menu). Select "More Options," and change the minimum and maximum x-values by selecting the top two radio buttons. Enter a value that corresponds with your data. For example, if your spread of data is from -10 to 9.1, make your minimum x-value -10 and your maximum y-value 10.

Step 5

Repeat Step 4 for the "Primary Vertical Axis," entering your y-values in place of the x-values.

Step 6

Press close.

Step 7

Select the graph by placing your cursor on it and left clicking on the mouse. Hit Ctrl C to copy the graph. Hit Ctrl P in Word to paste the graph into the document.


Excel has many built-in functions that can graph various types of curves without you having to input all of the data. For example, the function for the normal distribution is =normdist (x, mean, standard deviation, cumulative).

references & resources