How to Graph Linear Equations Using Excel

By Stephanie Ellen

A linear equation produces a line graph. The equation takes the form y = mx + b, where m is the slope and b is the y intercept. Excel cannot draw linear equations directly; in order to graph a linear equation in Excel, you must have a table of at least two values for the function already preformatted in two (X, Y) columns with column headers.

Excel 2007

Step 1

Highlight the data you want to graph by clicking at the top left of the data and dragging the mouse to the bottom right.

Step 2

Click on the "Insert" tab.

Step 3

Select "Line graph" and choose "2-D Line." Excel will draw the graph for the linear equation based on the table of values you input.

Excel 2003

Step 1

Highlight the data you want to graph by clicking at the top left of the data and dragging the mouse to the bottom right.

Step 2

Click on the "Chart Wizard" in the toolbar.

Step 3

Choose "Line."

Step 4

Check the "Chart subtype" box and click "Next" three times to move through the rest of the chart wizard.

Step 5

Click on "Finish." Excel will graph your linear equation using the values from your table.

Tips & Warnings

  • A linear equation is a straight line, so you only need to put two values in your table. To create the table, just solve y = mx + b for x = 1 and x = 2. For example, if your equation were y = 2x + 1, then your values would be (1,3) and (2,5).