Easy Method – How to Add Horizontal Line to Excel Graph – [2024]

Have you ever wanted to add a horizontal line to your Excel graph? Perhaps you’re looking to represent a target or an average value, but you’re not sure how to do it. Well, look no further! In this article, we will explore step-by-step instructions on how to add a horizontal line to an Excel graph using easy methods that anyone can follow.

Adding a horizontal line can greatly enhance your Excel graph and provide valuable insights. It allows you to visually compare your achievements with your desired outcome, making it easier to analyze your data effectively.

So, how exactly do you go about creating a horizontal line in an Excel graph? What are the different methods you can use? And what tips and tricks can help you achieve the best results?

In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about adding horizontal lines to your Excel graphs. From inserting average lines to creating target lines, we will guide you through each step with detailed instructions and helpful visuals. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to confidently add horizontal lines to your Excel graphs and elevate your data visualization skills.

If you’re ready to take your Excel graphs to the next level, let’s dive in and explore the world of horizontal lines in Excel graphs.

Adding an Average Horizontal Line to a Chart

To enhance your Excel graph and highlight average values, you can add an average horizontal line. By following a few simple steps, you can create a chart that visually represents the average value you want to showcase.

To start, you need to prepare the data for the chart. Set up a dynamic data table that includes the values you want to graphically depict. Once the data is ready, you can insert a column chart using the selected data table. This will create a basic chart that you can customize further.

After inserting the chart, locate the column representing the average value. This column will later be transformed into a horizontal line that spans the chart. To achieve this, you will need to change the chart type from “Column Chart” to “Line Chart With Marker.”

The “Line Chart With Marker” option will transform the average column bar into a horizontal line. This line will represent the desired average value and provide a clear visual reference for comparison. By using this technique, you can effectively display the average value in your Excel chart.

Download a sample file here to see the process in action and easily follow along with the steps mentioned above. Experiment with different data sets and chart types to find the presentation style that best suits your needs.

Adding a Target Line in a Column Chart

Enhance your Excel graph by incorporating a target line, particularly useful for comparing target versus achievement. By adding a target line, you can visually represent the desired value and assess how it aligns with the actual figures.

To begin, utilize a dynamic table to generate the target and actual values for your chart. Ensure that the table is properly set up and populated with the necessary data. Once your dynamic table is ready, proceed to insert a column chart using the selected data table.

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Create a dynamic data table with the target and actual figures.
  2. Insert a column chart using the selected dynamic table.
  3. Change the chart type of the target bar from “Column Chart” to “Line Chart With Markers.”
  4. Apply formatting options to customize the appearance of the target line to your preference.

By following these steps, you will successfully add a target line to your Excel graph. This visual representation will help you analyze and evaluate the alignment between your target and actual performance.

For a more visual guide and to practice these steps yourself, access the sample file provided.

Example: Adding a Target Line in a Column Chart


In the example above, the table represents target and achievement values for different months. By adding a target line to a column chart, you can visually compare the actual achievement with the desired target. This will help you gauge performance and identify areas that require improvement.

Other Methods and Tips

In addition to the methods mentioned above, there are other ways to add horizontal lines to Excel graphs. One approach is to use shapes or AutoShapes to draw a line directly on the chart. This method allows for flexibility in positioning the line but requires manual adjustments when resizing or moving the chart.

Another alternative is to create an additional data series to plot the line. This method provides precise placement of the line but requires creating a separate table with the desired values. By adding a data series for the horizontal line and adjusting its appearance, you can easily incorporate it into your Excel graph.

Experiment with these methods to find the one that best suits your needs. Each approach has its own advantages, so try them out and see which one works best for your specific requirements. By utilizing these additional techniques, you can enhance your Excel charts and make them more visually appealing and informative.

Nilesh Kamble is Certified in Microsoft & GCP, having 13+ Years of Experience in IT Industry. As a Senior IT Employee, having vast experience on Windows Server, Windows Client, Powershell, Cloud Technologies. Passionate about Laptop, Mobiles & Other emerging Technologies.