HomeTechnologyNewsHow to add a trend line in Google spreadsheets

How to add a trend line in Google spreadsheets

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First, add a chart to your Google sheet. You can then edit the chart: In the Chart Editor, select the “Custom” tab in the sidebar, select “Series”, check the “Trendline” box, and customize your trendline settings.

If you want a simple image to help your audience see the direction of the data on your chart, consider a trend line. You can add different types of trend lines in Google Sheets and customize their appearance.

About trend lines in Google Sheets

You can add a trend line to a bar chart, column chart, line chart, or scatter chart. You can select a specific series for the trend line or apply one to all series on the chart.

RELATED: How to make a bar chart in Google Sheets

There are six types of trend lines that you can use depending on how you want to display the line:

  • Linear: Use this for data that mostly follows a straight line.
  • Exponential: Use this for data that increases and decreases in proportion to its value.
  • Polynomials: Use this for data that fluctuates.
  • logarithmic: Use this for data that rises and falls rapidly and then evens out.
  • Power Series: Use this for data that increases and decreases in proportion to its value at the same rate.
  • Moving Averages: Use this to help balance unstable data.

Add a trend line in Google spreadsheets

Once you have the chart you want to use and are ready to add the trend line, double-click the chart or click the three dots in the upper right corner and select “Edit Chart” to open the Editor sidebar graphics.

Edit chart in chart menu

Go to the Customize tab in the sidebar and expand the Series section.

Series section on the Customize tab of the Chart Editor

At the top of the section, use the dropdown box to choose the series you want to use for the trend line. You can choose “Apply to all series” or select a particular series on your chart.

If you want to customize a trend line for each series, simply select one at a time and follow the steps below for each one.

Select a chart series

Scroll to the bottom of the Series section and check the Trendline box.

Checked trend line box

You will see the trend line appear on your chart. From there, use the Type dropdown box directly below to select the type of trendline you want to use.

Selecting the type of trend line

If you select Polynomial, you can choose the degree. If you select Moving Average, you can choose the Type of Average and the Period.

Polynomial and Moving Average Trendline Types

Once you’ve set up your trend line, you can customize its appearance.

Customize a trend line on your chart

With the Chart Editor sidebar open and the Series section expanded in the Customize tab, you will see options to customize the trendline.

RELATED: How to Change Chart Axes in Google Spreadsheets

You can select a Line Color using the dropdown box on the palette. This is useful if you want the trend line to stand out.

Line color palette for a trend line

You can then adjust the opacity of the line using the dropdown box. Choose from zero to 100% to make the line more or less bold.

Opacity options for a trend line

You can then choose the Line Weight using the drop down box. Select one, two, four, or eight pixels for the width of the line.

Line Weight Options for a Trend Line

Finally, you can add a label for your trend line to the chart legend if you want. Select the type from the Label dropdown box. If you choose “Custom”, enter the label text in the box below.

Custom label for a trend line

You can also choose “Use Equation” to display the equation of the trend line type as the label, and optionally display the R-square to see how closely the trend line fits the chart data.

Show marked R squared box for a trend line

When you’re done adding and customizing your trend line, use the “X” at the top right of the Chart Editor sidebar to close it.

If you want an additional image to help your viewers capture the direction of your data, a trend line in Google Sheets is the way to go.

For more information, see how to save or publish a chart or learn how to make a table using a chart in Google Sheets.

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