How to Add Average Line in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you’re looking to add an average line in Excel, you’re in luck! This process is simple and can be a game-changer for visualizing data trends. You can quickly add an average line to your Excel charts, enhancing your ability to interpret data at a glance. Let’s dive into the step-by-step tutorial to get you up and running in no time!

How to Add Average Line in Excel

Adding an average line in Excel can help you see where your data centers and can make trends more apparent. Follow these steps, and you’ll have an average line in no time.

Step 1: Select Your Data

Select the data range you want to include in the chart. This usually includes your values and categories.

First, click and drag your mouse over the data range you want to use. Make sure you include all the necessary columns and rows. This will form the basis for your chart.

Step 2: Insert a Chart

Go to the "Insert" tab and choose the chart type that best fits your data, like a column or line chart.

Navigate to the "Insert" tab in the Excel toolbar. Choose a chart type that suits your data. The most common ones are column charts or line charts.

Step 3: Add a Data Series for the Average

Copy your data range and paste it below your original data. This will be used to calculate the average.

Highlight your data range again, copy it, and then paste it right below the original range. This duplicated range will be used for calculating the average.

Step 4: Calculate the Average

Use Excel’s AVERAGE function to calculate the average of your data in the new data series.

In the new data series, use the AVERAGE function. Type "=AVERAGE(your range)" and press Enter. This will give you the average value that you’ll use for the average line.

Step 5: Add the Average Line to the Chart

Go back to your chart, right-click, and select "Select Data." Add the average series to your chart.

Return to your chart, right-click, and choose "Select Data." In the dialogue box that appears, click "Add" to create a new data series. This new series will be your average line.

Step 6: Format the Average Line

Change the chart type for the average series to a line, and format it to differentiate it from the original data.

Select the new average series in your chart, right-click, and choose "Change Series Chart Type." Change it to a line chart. You can format the line to be dashed or a different color for better visibility.

After you complete these steps, you should see a line representing the average value running through your chart. This average line will help you quickly understand the central tendency of your data.

Tips for Adding an Average Line in Excel

  • Double-check your data range: Ensure that all the necessary values are included.
  • Use the "Format Data Series" option: This allows you to customize the appearance of your average line.
  • Label your average line: Clearly label it to avoid any confusion with other data lines in your chart.
  • Save a template: If you frequently add average lines, save a chart template to save time.
  • Use conditional formatting: Highlight key data points that fall above or below the average for better insights.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of adding an average line in Excel?

An average line helps you quickly identify the central point of your data, making it easier to spot trends and outliers.

Can I add an average line to any type of chart?

Yes, you can add an average line to most Excel chart types, including line, bar, and scatter plots.

How do I update the average line if my data changes?

Simply update your data range and recalculate the average. The chart will automatically adjust.

Can I add multiple average lines to a single chart?

Yes, you can add multiple average lines by repeating the steps and calculating different averages for various data ranges.

Is there an automatic way to add an average line in Excel?

Excel doesn’t have a built-in feature for automatic average lines, but by following these steps, you can easily add one manually.


  1. Select your data range.
  2. Insert a chart.
  3. Add a data series for the average.
  4. Calculate the average.
  5. Add the average line to the chart.
  6. Format the average line.


Adding an average line in Excel is a straightforward process that can greatly enhance your data analysis. By following the steps outlined above, you can create a visual guide that helps you quickly understand the central tendency of your data.

Remember, Excel is a powerful tool, and mastering these small tricks can make a big difference in how you interpret your data. Once you’ve added your average line, take some time to explore other features like conditional formatting and different chart types.

Keep practicing, and before you know it, you’ll be an Excel whiz, capable of turning raw data into insightful graphs and charts. Adding an average line is just the beginning—there’s always more to learn and explore. So, go ahead and give it a try!

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