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.

Reading Values from Graphs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated March 11, 2014)

2

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

Absolutely Positioning a Graphic

Want a graphic to appear at a precise place on the page? It's easy to gain control by following the steps in this tip.

Discover More

Removing Filters and Unhiding Rows and Columns on Multiple Worksheets

Need to remove filters and display all rows and columns in all your worksheets? It is not easy to do manually, but with a ...

Discover More

Default Font for Page Numbers

Page numbers are a common addition to documents, and a great aid to readers. If you want to easily format page numbers, you ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Adding a Drop Shadow to a Text Box

One way to make your text boxes "stand off" the page is to add a drop shadow to them. This tip shows just how easy it is to ...

Discover More

Inserting a Watermark Behind Merged Cells

If you have a group of merged cells into which you want a user to enter information, you may want some sort of "watermark" in ...

Discover More

Colorizing Charts

Need to change the color of different parts of your chart? It's easy to do when you apply the technique described in this ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. 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 6 - 3?

2016-03-31 09:53:14

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Tamar,
3E-05x = 0.00003x
The carret (^) means: "to the power of".
For instance: 2^4 = 2*2*2*2
--------------------------
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2016)
ISRAEL


2016-03-30 20:05:32

Tamar

Hi there,
I made a graph on excel, but can't interpret the formula it gave for me for the trend line (Which is polynomial 3).

y = 3E-05x^3 - 0.1947x^2 + 391.12x - 261965

What is that in standard notation?
Specifically for what the 3E-05 means.

Thanks


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.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

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

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.