Insert a line chart

Customize a line chart

Your browser does not support video. Install Microsoft Silverlight, Adobe Flash Player, or Internet Explorer 9.

We have added our data to the line chart. Now, let’s customize the chart, so it has the details and style we want.

Change the color of a chart

When you insert a chart, small buttons appear next to its upper-right corner. Use the Chart Styles button to quickly change the color or style of the chart.

  1. Click the chart you want to change.

  2. In the upper-right corner, next to the chart, click Chart Styles.

  3. Click Color and pick the color scheme you want, or click Style and pick the option you want.

Want more?

Change the format of data labels in a chart

Copy an Excel chart to another Office program

We have added our data to the chart. Now, let’s customize the chart, so it has the details and style we want.

To start, I’ll Zoom In a little bit.

Then, I’ll click the Chart Title, select the text, and type a new title "Average Precipitation".

Next, I’d like to change the formatting of the data values, so that they include decimal places.

So, I’ll click to select the chart and look for these icons.

Then I’ll click the top one, Chart Elements, and I’ll point to Axes, click the arrow that appears, and click More Options.

The Format Axis pane opens and the horizontal axis is selected in the chart.

I want to change the vertical axis. So, in the chart, I’ll point to one of the data values and click to select the vertical axis.

In the pane, I’ll scroll to NUMBER and click to expand its options.

Under Category, I’ll click the arrow and change the General formatting to Number.

The default value for Decimal places is 2, and the values in the chart now show two decimal places.

I’ll click X to close the pane.

Let’s add a label for the data values.

We click CHART ELEMENTS, point to Axis Titles, click the arrow next to it, and check Primary Vertical.

A text box appears for the vertical axis. It is selected, so I can type my label, and I’ll type "Inches".

Now, the chart shows incremental values for inches of precipitation.

But I’d like to show the exact amounts at the markers.

So, I’ll click CHART ELEMENTS and point to Data Labels.

Exact amounts appear above the markers, showing our data for Average Precipitation.

I’ll check the Data Labels box to display these.

Let’s do a bit more with the data and check Trendline. We are prompted to choose one of the series, New York or Seattle.

I’ll leave New York selected and click OK.

A trendline appears for the New York data and shows as a blue dotted line.

Now, let’s add a trendline for Seattle.

I have already checked Trendline, so I’ll point to it, click its arrow, and then click More Options.

This time, I’ll choose Seattle and click OK.

An orange trendline now runs through the Seattle data, and the Format Trendline pane opens.

I’ll leave the trendline set to Linear.

Note that the current trendline is selected in the chart — the selection handles appear at either end — and, in the pane, I can click Fill & Line or Effects to choose more formatting options for the line.

But for now, let’s click X to close this pane, and instead click Chart Styles to see the available styles for the chart.

That’s a quick way to get chart formatting.

I’ll point to a style to see a preview on the chart.

I like this one, Style 11, because it emphasizes the trendlines and moves the legend to the top.

I’ll click to apply it.

Now, let’s add a chart border. To do that, select the chart, and double-click the selection border.

In the Format Chart Area pane, click BORDER and Solid line, and in the Color box, click to choose a color.

How about dark gray?. Now, close the pane.

Let’s click Slide Show and look at the finished chart. It has all the elements and the look that I want.

Up next: Insert a linked Excel line chart.

Expand your skills
Explore training
Get new features first
Join Office Insiders

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×