Make Average Line Stretch Across Chart – Tutorial

Make Average Line Stretch Across a Chart

This lesson shows you how to make average line stretch across a column chart in Excel. There are various ways to do this. For the most part, it depends on the type of chart and the average line.

If you do not have a chart with an average line, you can either follow along, or go to the Add an Average Line to a Column tutorial. Our lesson uses Excel 2010 or higher or compatible.

Procedure to Make an Average Line Stretch Across a Chart

Follow the instructions below to stretch an average line across a chart.

Step 1: Select the Average Line
Chart with mean line selected.
Chart with mean line selected.
Step 2: Open Trendline Options
  1. Click Layout from the Chart Tools toolbar
  2. Select Trendline from the Layout ribbon
  3. Click More Trendline Options… from the Trendline list options

You should now see the Format Trendline dialog box.

Step 3: Set Trendline Options for Average Line
  1. Under Trend Type, select Linear
  2. Under Forecast, set Forward to 0.5 periods
  3. Also, set the Backward periods to 0.5
  4. Click Close

Success!

Chart with trendline stretching across chart.
Chart with trendline stretching across chart.

You did it! A line that represents the average across the entire chart. All you need to do now is format the trendline to make it look like the average line. See the format for the one we did below.

Column chart with formatted trendline.
Column chart with formatted trendline.

I know, I know. It is not really an average line. However, it functions just like one, and it moves with the chart. Meaning, if the average changes, that line changes too. In most cases, you want to attach your chart elements to a source.

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