How to Make Trend Charts With Excel

By Hunter Taylor

Microsoft Excel charts are efficient for displaying data. It is easier for most people to understand data when they see it in a picture format as opposed to a list of numbers. It is more helpful for the users of the data to be able to predict trends in the underlying data. For example, a company that needs information about revenues can use a chart to show past revenues, but it is more beneficial to use past revenues to predict future revenues. A trendline in a chart would help the company see if revenues are trending upward or downward.

Step 1

Create a chart with names and grades. This can be mock information. In cell A1, type "Names" and in cell B2 type "Grade". Enter the names and grades for 10 students.

Step 2

Click the Insert tab. Click the down arrow under the Column option. Select the first option under the 2-D Column row. A chart will appear.

Step 3

Right-click on one of the bars in the graph. Go to Add Trendline.

Step 4

Select the Linear radio button, then click "Close." A trendline has been added to the chart for a trend chart.

Tips & Warnings

  • The type of trendline to use is determined by the data used. For example, if the data fluctuates, use a polynomial trendline. If the dataset is relatively simple, use a linear trendline.
  • Trendlines are only a forecast, or projection, of where the data is headed based on past figures. However, past data does not necessarily mean the future data will perform the same way.