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Excel Guide

How to Add a Trendline in Excel

Adding a trendline to your Excel graph can provide valuable insights into patterns in your data and assist in making predictions. Whether your data exhibits linear, logarithmic, polynomial, or exponential behavior, Excel allows you to add trendlines easily. Here's a step-by-step guide:

Adding a Trendline

Select Your Data:

  • Choose the data you want to use for the trendline. Click and drag to select the relevant cells in your Excel worksheet.

Insert the Trendline:

  • Navigate to the "Insert" tab on the ribbon.
  • Click on the "Trendline" button. A menu will appear with different trendline options.

Choose Trendline Type:

  • Select the type of trendline that best fits your data:

Linear Trendlines:

  • Suitable for linear data.

Logarithmic Trendlines:

  • Ideal for data that increases or decreases at a constant rate.

Polynomial Trendlines:

  • Best for data with peaks and valleys.

Exponential Trendlines:

  • Appropriate for data that grows or decays at a constant rate.

Interpret the Results:

  • Once you've added the trendline, you can interpret the results.
  • For linear trendlines, the equation is in the form y = mx + b, where m is the slope and b is the y-intercept.
  • For logarithmic trendlines, the equation is y = mx + b as well.
  • Polynomial trendlines have equations in the form y = mx^2 + bx + c, where m is the slope, b is the y-intercept, and c is the constant.
  • Exponential trendlines have equations in the form y = ab^x, where a is the y-intercept and b is the constant.

Display Equation on Chart:

  • To view the equation of the trendline on the chart, click the "Trendline" button again, select "Options," and check the "Display Equation on Chart" checkbox.

Interpreting the Results

Making Predictions:

  • You can use the equation of the trendline to make predictions about future data points.
  • Input the value of the independent variable into the equation to obtain the predicted value of the dependent variable.


  • Predictions from trendlines are estimates, and accuracy diminishes as predictions extend further into the future.


Adding a trendline in Excel is a valuable tool for data analysis. Whether you're exploring linear, logarithmic, polynomial, or exponential trends, Excel provides a straightforward way to visualize and interpret your data. Keep in mind that trendline predictions are approximations, and their accuracy depends on the nature of your data.