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Add or remove series lines, drop lines, high-low lines, or up-down bars in a chart

You can add predefined lines or bars to charts in several apps for Office. By adding lines, including series lines, drop lines, high-low lines, and up-down bars, to specific chart can help you analyze the data that is displayed. If you no longer want to display the lines or bars, you can remove them.

New to formatting charts in Excel? Click here for a free 5 minute video training on how to format your charts.

In Office 2010 or Office 2013 or Office 2016, you can add or remove lines in charts in most apps, including Excel, PowerPoint, Word

Add or remove lines in charts

Specific line and bar types are available in 2-D stacked bar and column charts, line charts, pie of pie and bar of pie charts, area charts, and stock charts.

Depending on the chart type that you use, you can add one of the following lines or bars:

  • Series lines    These lines connect the data series in 2-D stacked bar and column charts to emphasize the difference in measurement between each data series. Pie of pie and bar of pie charts display series lines by default to connect the main pie chart with the secondary pie or bar chart. Series Lines

  • Drop lines    Available in 2-D and 3-D area and line charts, these lines extend from data points to the horizontal (category) axis to help clarify where one data marker ends and the next data marker starts. Drop Lines

  • High-low lines    Available in 2-D line charts and displayed by default in stock charts, high-low lines extend from the highest value to the lowest value in each category. High-Low Lines

  • Up-down bars    Useful in line charts with multiple data series, up-down bars indicate the difference between data points in the first data series and the last data series. By default, these bars are also added to stock charts, such as Open-High-Low-Close and Volume-Open-High-Low-Close. Up-Down Bars

  1. Click the 2-D stacked bar, column, line, pie of pie, bar of pie, area, or stock chart to which you want to add lines or bars.

    This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  2. On the Layout tab, in the Analysis group, do one of the following:

    • Click Lines, and then click the line type that you want.

      Note: Different line types are available for different chart types.

    • Click Up/Down Bars, and then click Up/Down Bars. Analysis group on the Layout tab (Chart Tools)

Tip: You can change the format of the series lines, drop lines, high-low lines, or up-down bars that you display in a chart by right-clicking the line or bar, and then clicking Format <line or bar type> .

  1. Click the 2-D stacked bar, column, line, pie of pie, bar of pie, area, or stock chart that displays predefined lines or bars.

    This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  2. On the Layout tab, in the Analysis group, click Lines or Up/Down Bars, and then click None to remove lines or bars from a chart. Analysis group on the Layout tab (Chart Tools)

Tip: You can also remove lines or bars immediately after you add them to the chart by clicking Undo on the Quick Access Toolbar or by pressing CTRL+Z.

In Excel, you can add predefined series lines, drop lines, high-low lines and up-down bars to make a specific charts easier to read. Excel charts, such as 2-D stacked bar and column charts, line charts, pie of pie and bar of pie charts, area charts, and stock charts, can be modified to display the information you want. If you no longer need the lines or bars, you can remove them.

For more information about drawing your own lines, see Draw or delete a line or connector.

Depending on the chart type that you use, you can add one of the following lines or bars:

  • Series lines    These lines connect the data series in 2-D stacked bar and column charts to emphasize the difference in measurement between each data series. Pie of pie and bar of pie charts display series lines by default to connect the main pie chart with the secondary pie or bar chart. Series Lines

  • Drop lines    Available in 2-D and 3-D area and line charts, these lines extend from data points to the horizontal (category) axis to help clarify where one data marker ends and the next data marker starts. Drop Lines

  • High-low lines   Available in 2-D line charts and displayed by default in stock charts, high-low lines extend from the highest value to the lowest value in each category. High-Low Lines

  • Up-down bars    Useful in line charts with multiple data series, up-down bars indicate the difference between data points in the first data series and the last data series. By default, these bars are also added to stock charts, such as Open-High-Low-Close and Volume-Open-High-Low-Close. Up-Down Bars

  1. Click the 2-D stacked bar, column, line, pie of pie, bar of pie, area, or stock chart to which you want to add lines or bars.

    This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  2. On the Layout tab, in the Analysis group, do one of the following:

    • Click Lines, and then click the line type option that you want.

      Note: Different line type options are available for different chart types.

    • Click Up/Down Bars, and then click Up/Down Bars.

Tip: You can change the format of the series lines, drop lines, high-low lines, or up-down bars that you display in a chart. For more information, see Format elements of a chart.

  1. Click the 2-D stacked bar, column, line, pie of pie, bar of pie, area, or stock chart that displays predefined lines or bars.

    This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  2. On the Layout tab, in the Analysis group, click Lines or Up/Down Bars, and then click None to remove lines or bars from a chart.

    Tip: You can also remove lines or bars immediately after you add them to the chart by clicking Undo on the Quick Access Toolbar or by pressing CTRL+Z.

You can add other lines to any data series in an area, bar, column, line, stock, xy (scatter), or bubble chart that is 2-D and not stacked.

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.

  2. In the chart, select the data series that you want to add a line to, and then click the Chart Design tab. 

    Chart Design tab

    For example, in a line chart, click one of the lines in the chart, and all the data marker of that data series become selected.

  3. Click Add Chart Element, and then click Gridlines.

    Add Chart Element menu

  4. Choose the line option that you want or click More Gridline Options.

    Add gridlines

    Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.

  2. Click the chart with the lines, and then click the Chart Design tab.

    Chart Design tab

  3. Click Add Chart Element, click Gridlines, and then click More Gridline Options.

    Add gridlines

  4. Select No line.

    Remove gridlines

    You can also click the line and press DELETE .

Word

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.

  2. In the chart, select the data series that you want to add a line to, and then click the Chart Layout tab. 

    For example, in a line chart, click one of the lines in the chart, and all the data marker of that data series become selected.

  3. Under Analysis, click Lines, and then click the line that you want.

    Chart Layout tab, Analysis group

    Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.

  2. Click the chart with the lines, and then click the Chart Layout tab.

  3. Under Analysis, click Lines, and then click No Lines.

    Chart Layout tab, Analysis group

    You can also click the line and press DELETE .

PowerPoint

  1. In the chart, select the data series that you want to add a line to, and then click the Chart Layout tab. 

    For example, in a line chart, click one of the lines in the chart, and all the data marker of that data series become selected.

  2. Under Analysis, click Lines, and then click the line that you want.

    Chart Layout tab, Analysis group

    Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

  1. Click the chart with the lines, and then click the Chart Layout tab.

  2. Under Analysis, click Lines, and then click No Lines.

    Chart Layout tab, Analysis group

    You can also click the line and press DELETE .

Excel

  1. In the chart, select the data series that you want to add a line to, and then click the Chart Layout tab. 

    For example, in a line chart, click one of the lines in the chart, and all the data marker of that data series become selected.

  2. Under Analysis, click Lines, and then click the line that you want.

    Chart Layout tab, Analysis group

    Depending on the chart type, some options may not be available.

  1. Click the chart with the lines, and then click the Chart Layout tab.

  2. Under Analysis, click Lines, and then click No Lines.

    Chart Layout tab, Analysis group

    You can also click the line and press DELETE .

See also

Update the data in an existing chart

Animate text, objects, and charts in PowerPoint for Mac

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