How to Make a Linear Log Graph in Excel

By John Granby

Logarithmic data is data that spans a wide range of values, and the values increase exponentially. For instance, one axis of a logarithmic chart may have value points at 0, 1, 10, 100, 1000, etc. This range of data makes a standard line graph or scatter graph impractical to display such scientific or engineering measurement data. Excel is essentially a standard tool used in business, engineering, and science to calculate large amounts of data and to create graphs, such as linear logarithmic graphs with the collected data.

Step 1

Open Excel 2010 and open your spreadsheet containing the logarithmic data set.

Step 2

Locate an empty space in your spreadsheet to work on your chart. Click somewhere in this area. Click on the "Insert" tab in the top menu. Click on "Scatter" in the "Charts" section and select "Scatter with Straight Lines and Markers." Putting your mouse over each icon will give you the title.

Step 3

Right click in the blank chart area that appears in your spreadsheet and click "Select Data."

Step 4

Click on the icon at the far right of the "Chart data range" text box use your mouse to click-drag select the rows and columns containing your data for this chart. Click on the icon again at the far right of "Chart data range" so that the "OK" button is displayed. Click "OK."

Step 5

Double click on whatever axis (x or y) is your logarithmic data range. For instance if it is the x axis, Double click on the numbers on the x-axis scale. Click on the "Logarithmic scale" check box which is in the "Axis Options" section. Click the "Close" button. You will now see your selected axis changed in scale, for instance increments in base 10 are 1, 10, 100, 1000, etc.

Step 6

Click the "File" tab in the top menu and select "Save As" to save this file to keep your work.

Tips & Warnings

  • Other versions of Excel also display logarithmic data. However, the "Logarithmic scale" check box may be in slightly different locations in the chart properties wizard. The key is to use scatter charts and look for the change in scale option in that chart type.