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How to Add a Trendline in Excel

Have you ever wanted to show data trends in your worksheet as a visual element? You can easily implement this in your Excel sheets with the use of trendlines. These graphics are built into Excel, and all you have to do is follow our simple and quick tutorial to get them in your projects.
Trendline in Excel

A trendline is a useful chart element that allows you to get more insight into your data at a simple glance. Get averages, notice peaks, and drops to make better decisions in the future, or even predict what could happen based on your current data. All this with the use of trendlines.

Please note that our instructions were written for Excel 2013 and newer. In older versions of the application, some steps may be slightly different.

Add a trendline in Excel for Windows

Use the following guidelines to add trendline in Excel for Windows

Insert a trendline in Excel for Windows

  1. Select the chart you want to add a trendline to. If you don’t have a chart yet, follow these instructions to create one:
    • Select the cells that contain your data. Make sure to select headers as well to ensure that appropriate labels are created for your chart.
    • Click on the Insert tab in your ribbon header interface.
    • Choose a chart type. For trend lines specifically, we recommend using any of the 2D charts.
  2. After selecting your chart, click on the + (plus) icon to the top right of the chart.
  3. Click on the Trendline option. Note that Excel only displays the Trendline option if you select a chart that has more than one data series without selecting a data series.
  4. The Add Trendline dialog box will show up. Select any data series options you want, and click OK once you’re happy with the configuration.

Format a trendline in Excel for Windows

  1. Click anywhere inside your chart that contains a trendline.
  2. In the ribbon, switch on the now visible Format tab. Find the Current Selection group, and select the trendline option from the dropdown list.
  3. Click on the Format Selection option.
  4. The Format Trendline pane will open up. Select Trendline Options to decide how you want your trendline to behave in your chart.
  5. Modify any other settings such as forecast, moving average, etc.

Add a trendline in Excel for Mac

Use the following guidelines to add trendline in Excel for Mac

Insert and format a trendline in Excel for Mac

  1. Select the chart you want to add a trendline to. If you don’t have a chart yet, follow these instructions to create one:
    • Select the cells that contain your data. Make sure to select headers as well to ensure that appropriate labels are created for your chart.
    • Click on the Insert tab in your ribbon header interface.
      Trendline in Excel for Mac
    • Choose a chart type. For trend lines specifically, we recommend using any of the 2D charts.
  2. After selecting your chart, click on the Chart Design tab in your ribbon interface.
    Trendline in Excel for Mac
  3. Click on the Add Chart Element button, pictured above.
  4. Hover over Trendline and select whichever option you want to add to your chart. For more possibilities, click on More Trendline Options.
    Trendline in Excel for Mac
  5. If needed, specify which category you want the trendline to display.
  6. You can also modify and format this trendline from the same menu. If needed, delete the trendline by selecting None.

Final thoughts

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Also Read

How to Change Series Name in Excel
10 Steps to Make a Pivot Chart in Excel

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