How to Extend a Trendline on Excel 2016: A Step-by-Step Guide

Ever found yourself in a pickle trying to extend a trendline in Excel 2016? It’s actually not as hard as you might think. All you need to do is click on the trendline, then drag the handle to the desired length. Voila! You’ve extended your trendline.

Step by Step Tutorial: Extending a Trendline in Excel 2016

Before we dive into the steps, let’s talk about why you might want to extend a trendline. Extending a trendline can help you predict future data points based on the current trend. It’s a nifty little trick that can give you insights into where things might be heading.

Step 1: Select the Chart

Click on the chart that contains the trendline you want to extend.

Selecting the chart is crucial because it allows you to edit the elements within it, including the trendline.

Step 2: Click on the Trendline

Once the chart is selected, click directly on the trendline.

You might need to click a few times to select the trendline itself rather than the data points.

Step 3: Drag the Handle

After selecting the trendline, drag the square handle at either end to extend it.

Be careful not to click on the resize handles of the chart itself, as this will resize the chart instead of extending the trendline.

Once you’ve extended the trendline, you’ll be able to see the projected data points based on the existing trend.

Tips for Extending a Trendline in Excel 2016

  • Make sure you have a linear trendline. Other types may not extend as expected.
  • If the trendline doesn’t seem to be moving, try zooming in for a better view.
  • Use the ‘Format Trendline’ options for more control over the extension.
  • Consider adding a forecast period to the trendline for automatic extension.
  • Double-check the trendline’s equation to ensure accuracy after extending.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I extend a trendline in any type of chart?

You can extend trendlines in scatter plots and line charts. Other types may not support this feature.

What if I can’t select the trendline?

Make sure you’re clicking on the line itself and not the data points. Zooming in can help with selection.

Can I extend the trendline both ways?

Yes, you can drag the handle at either end of the trendline to extend it in either direction.

Will extending the trendline change my data?

No, it will not change your data, only the projection of the trend.

What if the handle doesn’t appear?

Ensure that you’ve selected the trendline by clicking on it directly. If it still doesn’t appear, try clicking on a different part of the line.


  1. Select the chart.
  2. Click on the trendline.
  3. Drag the handle to extend.


Extending a trendline in Excel 2016 is a valuable skill that can give you a glimpse into future trends based on your current data. It’s not just about dragging lines; it’s about understanding the potential trajectory of your data and making informed decisions. Whether you’re a student analyzing research data, a marketer forecasting sales, or a financial analyst predicting stock movements, mastering this skill can be a game-changer.

Remember, the goal is to use the trendline to support your analysis, not to create an ironclad prediction. Always cross-check with other data and consider external factors that might affect your trend. And don’t be afraid to play around with different types of trendlines and forecast periods to see what fits best with your data set.

Excel 2016 is a powerful tool, and its capabilities are vast. After you’ve extended your trendline, why not explore other features? Maybe create a pivot table, or use conditional formatting to highlight key data points. The possibilities are endless, and each new skill you learn makes you more proficient at data analysis.

And if you ever get stuck, remember that the Excel community is vast and always willing to help. Forums, tutorials, and guides are just a click away. So go ahead, extend that trendline, and let the data lead the way!

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