Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Reading Values from Graphs.

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 2, 2019)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003

When creating charts from Excel data, you can smooth out the lines between data points by using any number of methods. At some point, you may want to actually figure out how Excel does its calculations to determine where to actually plot points along the line. Rather than visually trying to figure out where a point falls, you can follow these steps:

1. Right-click on the data series in question. Excel displays a Context menu.
2. Choose the Add Trendline option from the Context menu. Excel displays the Add Trendline dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
3. Figure 1. The Add Trendline dialog box.

4. Make sure the regression type you want to use is selected.
5. Display the Options tab.
6. Make sure the Display Equation on Chart check box is selected.
7. Click on OK.

The result is that Excel shows a formula, on the chart, that represents how it calculated each point along the line. You can then use this formula to determine points, as well. No more guessing! Once you know the formula, you can turn off the formula display if you want it off.

If you would like to know the different formulas that Excel uses for different types of trend lines, you can use the online Help system to search for "equations for calculating trendlines."

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3247) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Reading Values from Graphs.

##### Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Entering Regular Text in the Equation Editor

The Equation Editor is a great tool for designing and displaying all sorts of equations in a document. It is not very ...

Discover More

When working with headers and footers in a macro, you might find this tip helpful. It describes how you can create ...

Discover More

Handling Negative Numbers in a Complex Custom Format

Custom formats are great for defining how a specific value in a cell should look. They aren't that great at doing complex ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

Creating a Log/Log Chart

If you need to create a chart that uses logarithmic values on both axes, it can be confusing how to get what you want. ...

Discover More

Positioning Graphics Evenly

If you need to arrange a group of graphics so that they are evenly distributed between a starting point and an ending ...

Discover More

Understanding Fill Effects

Want to fill a drawing object with different types of effects? Excel provides several effects that can make your drawing ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. Youâ€™ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is two more than 1?

2021-09-10 04:07:57

Steven

Good Morning

I found this tip very helpful.

Many thanks and kind regards,

Steve

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.