How to insert Area Chart in Excel

An area chart is a type of chart that is used to represent data over time. It is similar to a line chart, but with the area between the line and the x-axis filled in with color to highlight the relative magnitude of the data. The insertion of an area chart can be easily done, and the key to it is following this step-by-step instruction. It is about following these steps that make you insert an area chart.

When to use the Area Chart?

Area charts are used to describe changes over time. If the coordinate system is used when drawing up the graphs, we usually put the feature values on the horizontal axis and the values of the feature on the vertical axis of the number (frequency) of the feature variants.

In the case of time series, on the horizontal axis, we mark moments or periods of time, and on the vertical axis, the quantities (or dynamics) of the studied phenomena. The scale on the abscissa axis does not depend on the adopted scale on the ordinate axis. We also often use line charts to present time series.

How to insert the Area Chart in Excel?

To insert Area Chart in Excel you need to have a data ready which would be something like this:


Mark the whole data, as it is showing in the picture below

mark data

Click on the Insert tab on top.

insert chart

Click on the area chart (1), and choose if you want to have a 2-D or 3-D chart (2). You can choose a stacked area chart, a 3-D area chart, or a 100% stacked area chart.

ribbon area chart

Once you have chosen the area chart type, you can create the chart by clicking on the option you want and dragging it to the location where you want to insert it.

After inserting the area chart, you can format it to change its appearance. You can change the color of the data series, add data labels, change the axis labels, and format the legend. To format the area chart, right-click on it and select "Format Chart Area."

ou can customize the area chart to change the way that it represents the data. You can add a secondary axis, change the axis scales, or add a trendline. To customize the area chart, right-click on it and select "Format Chart Area."

Types of Area Charts in Excel

Tthese are types of Area Charts you can choose. Just choose the one you like the most.

2D Area Chart

2D Stacked Area Chart2D Stacked Area Chart

2D 100% Stacked Area Chart2D 100% Stacked Area Chart


3D Area Chart3D Area Chart

3D Area Chart3D Stacked Area Chart

3D Stacked Area Chart

3D 100% Stacked Area Chart 3D 100% Stacked Area Chart

Which Area Chart to Choose?

  • Stacked or cumulative (regular)? - you should use stacked charts when you need to combine the data. The moment you need to sum the data up to show something is when you should coose Stacked Area Charts. Stacked Are Charts are also better when data are overlap each other which makes the chart harder to analyze.
  • 100% or regular? - 100% Stacked Area Charts are for you when you the sum of data is crucial only as a part of the whole population
  • 2D or 3D? - this is the toughest choice. Call me old fashioned but I prefer 2D. It is easier for me to see the visualisation of data. 3D Area Charts are better in less format spreadsheets.   

Note: You can now design the chart as you want, add a chart title by simply clicking on it.

You can download free Area chart template here