How to Add Trendlines in Excel

In this Excel tutorial lesson, you will learn how to use trendlines in Excel.

What are Trendlines

Trendlines are useful when you present data that is changing over time. The trend line on the chart is also used to predict the distribution of the data in the future or in the past. Forecasting is used in statistics and econometrics, where it is called regression.

Trendlines in Excel can be added only to uncumulative and two-dimensional charts. Types of graphs, which can be used to: area, column, line, stock, bar, scatter, and bubble. Trend lines can not be added to the chart: three-dimensional, stacked, radar, pie, surface, and ring.

As an example, I created a simple line chart.

Trendlines Example Line Chart

Adding a trend line

To add a trendline, first click on the chart to activate it. Then, navigate to the Chart Design tab on the ribbon, and select the Add Chart Element dropdown. Choose Trendline and select from the four basic types available. These are:

  • Linear Trendline,
  • Exponential Trendline,
  • Linear Forecast Trendline,
  • Two Period Moving Average.

Linear Trendline for this sample line chart will be like in the picture below.

Linear Trendline

In this way, you can insert a very simple trendline. You get more opportunities after selecting the More Trendline Options button.

More Trendline Options

Then the Format Trendline dialog box appears.

Format Trendline

This dialog box gives you a lot of options for working with trendlines. For example, let’s see how it will look in the next 10 Forward Forecast periods for your sample trendline.

Trendline sample line chart forward trend

It’s just a very simple example, but I’m sure you know how to add a trend line and how to use trendline in Excel.