With Excel Charts, it is very easy to create Trendlines for your data.  Trendlines show which direction the trend of your data is going, and gives you the trajectory as well.

In this tutorial, you will cover all of these sub-topics in details:

How to add Trendline in Excel

*** Watch our video and step by step guide below on Trend Chart in Excel with a free downloadable workbook to practice ***

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In this example, you will learn how to insert a trendline in Excel using a Line Chart.

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STEP 1:Highlight your table of data, including the column headings:

Add Trendlines to Excel Charts

Go to Insert > Recommended Charts (Excel 2013 & 2016)

Add Trendlines to Excel Charts

Go to Insert > Line > 2-D Line (Excel 2010)

Add Trendlines to Excel Charts

 

STEP 2: Select All Charts > Line > OK (Excel 2013 & 2016)

Add Trendlines to Excel Charts

 

STEP 3: Right-click on the line of your Line Chart and Select Add Trendline.

Add Trendlines to Excel Charts

 

STEP 4: Ensure Linear is selected and close the Format Trendline Window

Add Trendlines to Excel Charts

Now you have your Trendline in your chart, and you can predict where the trajectory is going in the succeeding periods:

how to add trendline in excel

Different types of Trendline

There are different types of trendlines available to be added to the Excel Charts:

  • Linear – It is a straight line that shows the increase/decrease in the value of data over time at a steady rate.
  • Exponential – It shows the increase/decrease in the value of data at an increasingly higher rate. It is usually more curved on one side.
  • Logarithmic – This trendline should be used when the data increase/decrease quickly and then levels out.
  • Polynomial – It is a curved line that should be used when data fluctuates more than one rise and fall.
  • Moving Average –  It is used to smooth the extreme fluctuations of data and show a clearer direction to data trends.

Format the Trendline

Now that you know how to add trendline in Excel, let’s move forward to understand how to format them. You can change the color, transparency, width, dash type, compound type, cap type, and more for your trendline.

In the example below, you want to change the color of the trendline to blue, increase the width to 2.5, and change the dash type.

STEP 1: Right-click on the Trendline.

STEP 2: Select the Format Trendline option.

Or, you can skip STEP 1 & 2 and simply double click on the trendline to open the Format Trendline pane.

STEP 3: From the Format Trendline pane, click the Fill & Line category.

STEP 4: Select color – BLUE

STEP 5: Change the width to 2.5

STEP 6: Change the dash type

Your formatted trendline is ready!

Use Trendline to Forecast Future Data

In Excel, you can extend your data and project the data trend into the future or past using the features of Trendline.

In this example, you want to forecast sales for the next 6 periods. Follow the steps below to understand how to forecast data trends.

STEP 1:Double click on the trendline to open the Format Trendline pane.

how to add trendline in excel

STEP 2: Select the Trendline Options tab.

STEP 3: Under forecast, type “6” in the forward box.

Your project data trend for the next 6 periods is created.

You can use trendline to extrapolate the trend of the data into the past. Simply type the period in the backward box instead of the forward box.

Add multiple trendline to same chart

Until now, you have learned how to add trendline in Excel. But you can add multiple trendlines to the same chart. Let’s see how it can be done.

Say, you want to add both linear and moving average trendline to the existing data. Add the first linear trendline as discussed above and then follow the steps below to add another trendline.

STEP 1: Click on the Chart Elements (“+” icon) on the top-right corner of the chart.

STEP 2: Click on the arrow next to Trendline

STEP 3: Select Two Period Moving Average from the list

STEP 4: Select the series SALES.

Excel will show both the trendlines on the same chart.

How to remove trendline in Excel

Removing the trendline in Excel Chart is extremely easy and a quick process. Let’s see how it is done.

STEP 1: Click on the Excel Chart.

STEP 2: Click on the Chart Elements (“+” icon) on the top-right corner of the chart.

STEP 3: From the dropdown, uncheck Trendline.

Or, you could simply right click on the trendline and click on delete.

Conclusion

In this tutorial, you have covered how to add trendline in Excel, the different types of trendlines, formatting the trendline, extending the trendline into future or past periods, adding multiple trendlines to the same chart, and finally how to remove them.

You can learn more about Excel Charts by going through these blogs!

Make sure to download our FREE PDF on the 333 Excel keyboard Shortcuts here:

You can learn more about how to use Excel by viewing our FREE Excel webinar training on Formulas, Pivot Tables, and Macros & VBA!

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