Create a 2D Line Chart in Excel

For this last chart, we'll compare the viewing figures of BBC1 and ITV. A line chart is better for this type of data. The chart we'll create looks like this:

The Finished Excel 2007 Line Chart



We're comparing how many hours per week a person watches BBC1 with how many hours they watch ITV. You'll need some data, of course. Start a new spreadsheet and enter the same data as below:

The Data for the Line Chart

Once you have your spreadsheet data, highlight the cells A3 to H5. Now click Insert from the Ribbon bar in Excel 2007 and 2010. Locate the Charts panel, and click on Other Charts. From the menu, select All Chart Types (In Excel 2013 and 2016, there is no Other Charts option. See below for what you should do):

Select All Chart Types

When you click All Chart Types, you'll get a dialogue box popping up:

The Create Chart dialogue box

From the dialogue box, the left hand side shows all the chart templates. Click on Line. Select the first Line chart, the one highlighted in the image above. Click OK and Excel will insert your chart. It should look like this:

A Default Line Chart

In Excel 2013 and 2016, click the Recommended Charts item instead of Other Charts:

Recommended Charts item  in Excel 2013

You'll then see a dialogue box appear. Click on All Charts:

Select Line from the list on the left to see all the available line charts (2016 users will have more charts on the list). Select the first one. Your charts will then look like this:

For all users, the chart looks a bit plain, at the moment. You can change the colour of the lines for BBC and ITV. Locate the Chart Styles panel on the Design menu:

Chart Styles

Click the down arrow on the right of the Chart Styles panel to reveal the available styles:

Available Line Chart Styles

We've gone for the first one, top left. When you select a style, your chart will change:

A Line Chart Style has been applied

The lines are more distinct now. The dates at the bottom don't look too impressive, though! In the next part, you'll see how to format the dates on the bottom Axis.