# Add an Average Line to a Column Chart – Tutorial

This tutorial shows you how to add an average line to a column chart in Excel. An average shows you what a typical value may be in a data set. In this lesson, we may also use the word “mean” to refer to the average.

We use Excel 2016 for the purpose of this tutorial. However, you can follow along in previous versions of Excel. Furthermore, we base this lesson on our column chart tutorial.

## Steps to Add an Average Line to A Column Chart

If you do not have a column chart, we suggest you go through our column chart tutorial first. It will be easier to follow along.

Below is the chart we will use to add our average line to.

##### Step 1: Calculate the mean for the data set.

In C2, type =AVERAGE(\$B\$2:\$B\$13) and press the Enter key. The average of your data should appear.

The dollar (\$) sign makes the formula absolute or static. The result will not change when you copy it to another location.

##### Step 2: Copy the mean through the rest of the data set.

Click in cell C2, press keyboard shortcut Ctrl-C. Select the remaining cells for the data set in column C, and press Ctrl-V. Or, you can do the same thing on the Home ribbon, under the Clipboard group.

###### Another Way

Click in cell C2. Then, click and drag the node on the bottom right of the cell. This will copy down the formula.

##### Step 3: Show options to add data to the chart.
1. Click on the chart. This will display chart tools options on the ribbon.
2. Under Chart Tools, click Design.
3. Under Design, click Select Data.

The Select Data Source dialog box appears.

##### Step 4: Add the average data to the chart.
1. In the Select Data Source dialog box, click Add under Legend Entries (Series).
2. Under Edit Series, click inside the Series name box and click cell C1. Or, type in the reference for your title.
3. For Series values, select only the data (numbers) for the average. Note: If there is anything in this box before your selection, then delete it.
4. Click OK.

You should now see another entry under Legend Entries for the average data set. Click OK.

A column bar is now added to your chart. Your column bar may overlap the other column a little, which is okay.

##### Step 5: Change the chart type of the average column series.
1. Click on the average column in the chart.
2. Under Chart Tools, click Design.
3. Under Design, click Change Chart Type.
4. Click inside the Chart Type list for the Average series.
5. Select the Line icon.
6. Click OK.

## Success!

You have done it! A column chart with an average line.