# Creating a Simple Line Graph

C

#### connierw

Version: 2008 Operating System: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) Processor: Intel Hello Everyone!

First of all, I'm sorry to be so ignorant with Excel, but I swear I've been trying to figure this out for hours! My eyes already hurt and I'm desperate. So here's my problem. I'm trying to create two excel graphs. They're both line graphs. On one column I have the years (from 1970 to 2010) then on the second column I have the numbers I want to play (pregnancy rates in those years). When using Excel for Office 2008 for Mac, I highlight both columns and it gives me a chart with two lines... It should only be one as the graph's purpose is to show me how the increase/decrease of pregnancy in American in the last three decades... then the X and Y axis are really wrong. The numbers go from 1 to 16 on the horizontal axis when it should be the numbers on of the rates... am I making any sense?

The other graph I'm trying to make is another line graph, but the numbers I need to plot are decimals less than zero (i.e. 0.23, 0.25 etc) and when I try to label the axis, it says the minimum number I can plot is 1.

Someone pretty please help me out! I wish I could print the screen to show you what I'm talking about. I've done simple Excel charts before, but for some reason it's not working at all :-(

Thank you!

C

#### Carl Witthoft

I've run into this problem when the title cells (the ones just above the
two columns of data you want to plot) are numbers, or something like
that. Try renaming the data, ie. something like

Years Rates
1970 .1
171 .15
and so on

Also, make sure you are setting up a "Scatterplot," not "line graph"
.. The latter will not give you what you want. (This is one of the
biggest screwups by Team Microsoft since the dawn of "Multiplot")

Carl

W

#### williamm

Here is a very simple way to make Excel treat the years as labels: type the years one at a time surrounded with double-quote marks like this;

&quot;1971&quot;
&quot;1972&quot;
&quot;1973&quot;
etc.

There are other ways to force Excel to treat these as labels, but this will get you started. Try just a few rows first, to be sure this will work.

M

#### Mike Middleton

connierw -

One method is to select only the Y data, insert a Line chart type (Line or
Marked Line), on the Formatting Palette choose Chart Data | Edit, and enter
reference to the X data in the "Category (X) axis labels" edit box.

Another method, if both the X and Y data are numeric, is to arrange the data
with X in a column on the left and Y in an adjacent column on the right,
select both the X and Y data, and insert an XY (Scatter) chart type
(Straight Marked Scatter or Straight Lined Scatter).

- Mike
http://www.MikeMiddleton.com

Version: 2008 Operating System: Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) Processor: Intel

Hello Everyone!

First of all, I'm sorry to be so ignorant with Excel, but I swear I've been
trying to figure this out for hours! My eyes already hurt and I'm desperate.
So here's my problem. I'm trying to create two excel graphs. They're both
line graphs. On one column I have the years (from 1970 to 2010) then on the
second column I have the numbers I want to play (pregnancy rates in those
years). When using Excel for Office 2008 for Mac, I highlight both columns
and it gives me a chart with two lines... It should only be one as the
graph's purpose is to show me how the increase/decrease of pregnancy in
American in the last three decades... then the X and Y axis are really
wrong. The numbers go from 1 to 16 on the horizontal axis when it should be
the numbers on of the rates... am I making any sense?

The other graph I'm trying to make is another line graph, but the numbers I
need to plot are decimals less than zero (i.e. 0.23, 0.25 etc) and when I
try to label the axis, it says the minimum number I can plot is 1.

you what I'm talking about. I've done simple Excel charts before, but for
some reason it's not working at all :-(

Thank you!

C

#### Carl Witthoft

That is a very bad idea, as any change in the date values will
completely foul up the graph.

C

#### connierw

Carl, William, and Mark,

THANK YOU! I did the &quot;Scatterplot,&quot; not &quot;line graph&quot; and it worked like magic! LOL It was as simple as that