How To Add A Line Of Best Fit In Excel

Adding a line of best fit in Excel can be a powerful way to visually represent the relationship between two sets of data. It’s a valuable tool for anyone working with data analysis, statistics, or just making sense of a large set of numbers. In this article, I’ll guide you through the process of adding a line of best fit in Excel and share some personal tips and insights along the way.

Getting Started

First things first, open your Excel workbook and make sure you have the data set ready. For the purpose of this tutorial, I’ll assume you have two sets of data – one for the x-axis and one for the y-axis – that you’d like to analyze and visualize.

Creating a Scatter Plot

The first step is to create a scatter plot based on your data. Select the data points, then navigate to the “Insert” tab, and click on “Scatter” in the Charts group. Choose the scatter plot that best fits your data distribution.

Adding the Trendline

With the scatter plot selected, right-click on one of the data points and choose “Add Trendline” from the context menu. A trendline will appear on the plot, but don’t stop there – we need to customize it to reflect the line of best fit.

Customizing the Trendline

After adding the trendline, right-click on it and select “Format Trendline.” This will open up a panel on the right side of the Excel window where you can customize the trendline to make it the line of best fit for your data.

Personally, I find it helpful to experiment with different options such as linear, exponential, or polynomial trendlines to see which one best represents the data. Excel provides you with equations and R-squared values to help you evaluate the fit of the trendline.

Displaying the Equation

To gain deeper insight into the relationship between the variables, you can display the equation on the chart. Simply check the “Display Equation on chart” option in the “Format Trendline” panel.

Interpreting the Results

Once you have added the line of best fit and customized it to suit your needs, take time to interpret the results. The equation of the line can provide valuable information about the relationship between the variables, and the R-squared value gives an indication of how well the line fits the data points.


Adding a line of best fit in Excel can enhance your data analysis and visualization capabilities. Whether you’re conducting scientific research, analyzing business trends, or simply exploring the correlation between two variables, the line of best fit offers valuable insights. It’s a feature that I find myself using often, and I hope this article has helped you unlock its potential as well.