How to Put Two Sets of Data on One Graph in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

To put two sets of data on one graph in Excel, you first need to select the data you want to graph. Then, click on the “Insert” tab and select the type of graph you want to use. From there, you can customize your graph by adding titles, labels, and adjusting the axis.

After you complete the action, you will have a single graph that displays two sets of data. This allows for easier comparison and analysis of the data.


Imagine you’re working on a project, and you need to compare two sets of data visually. Maybe you’re looking at the sales figures for two different products, or you’re comparing the performance of two athletes. Whatever the case, it’s crucial to present your data clearly and concisely. That’s where Excel comes in handy.

Excel is a powerful tool that can help you create graphs to visualize your data easily. It’s a skill that’s not only relevant to data analysts or accountants but to anyone who deals with data in their work or studies. Learning how to put two sets of data on one graph in Excel can save you time and make your data presentation more effective. Whether you’re presenting to a team, writing a report, or analyzing data for personal use, knowing how to do this can go a long way in making your data understandable and impactful.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Put Two Sets of Data on One Graph in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s establish what we’re aiming to achieve. This tutorial will guide you through creating a graph in Excel that displays two sets of data. This can be helpful when you want to compare the data sets directly.

Step 1: Select Your Data

Select the data you want to graph. Make sure to include any row or column headers that will help identify your data points.

Selecting your data is the first and crucial step. You can click and drag to select the data or hold down the Ctrl key while clicking to select non-adjacent data.

Step 2: Insert Your Graph

Click on the “Insert” tab, then choose the type of graph you want to use.

There are several graph types to choose from in Excel. The most common for comparing two sets of data are line graphs, bar graphs, and scatter plots. Consider which type will best represent your data.

Step 3: Customize Your Graph

Add titles, labels, and adjust the axis to make your graph clearer and more informative.

Customizing your graph includes adding a title, labeling the x and y-axes, and adjusting the scale of the axes if necessary. This helps make your graph easier to understand at a glance.


ClarityWhen you put two sets of data on one graph, it can make it easier to see how they compare to each other. This clarity can help in making informed decisions based on the data.
EfficiencyInstead of creating multiple graphs for each set of data, putting them on one graph saves time and space. This efficiency is especially helpful when dealing with large sets of data or when presenting to an audience.
Patterns and TrendsWith both sets of data on one graph, it’s easier to spot any patterns or trends that might not be as obvious when the data is separated. Spotting these can be crucial in data analysis and forecasting.


OvercomplicationIf the two sets of data are too different or the graph is not formatted correctly, it can be confusing and hard to read. This defeats the purpose of creating a clear visual representation.
MisinterpretationWithout proper labeling and scaling, there is a risk of misinterpreting the data. This could lead to incorrect conclusions and decisions.
Limited Data TypesNot all data sets are suitable for comparison on the same graph. For instance, combining qualitative and quantitative data can be challenging and may not provide meaningful insights.

Additional Information

When working with graphs in Excel, there are a few extra tips and tricks to keep in mind. For one, consider the color scheme of your graph. Different colors can help distinguish between the two data sets, making your graph easier to read. Additionally, consider the scale of your axes. If one set of data has much larger values than the other, it may be necessary to use two different y-axes. This is known as a dual-axis graph.

Remember, the type of graph you choose can also impact the effectiveness of your data presentation. For example, line graphs are great for showing changes over time, while bar graphs might be better for comparing individual items. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different graph types to see which one works best for your specific data.

Lastly, keep in mind that you can always add more than two sets of data to a graph. However, be careful not to overcrowd your graph, as this can make it harder to read. Stick to a maximum of three or four data sets for best results.


  1. Select the data you want to graph.
  2. Insert the graph type that best suits your data.
  3. Customize your graph with titles, labels, and adjusted axes for better clarity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use this method for more than two sets of data?

Yes, but be cautious not to overcrowd your graph. Stick to a maximum of three or four data sets.

What if my data sets have different value ranges?

You may need to use a dual-axis graph with two different y-axes to accommodate the different value ranges.

Is it possible to use different types of graphs for each data set?

Generally, it’s recommended to use the same type of graph for each data set for easy comparison. However, dual-axis graphs can allow for different graph types.

Can I change the colors of the data sets on the graph?

Yes, you can format the colors of each data set in the graph for better distinction.

What is the best graph type for comparing two sets of data?

It depends on the nature of your data. Line graphs are great for showing changes over time, while bar graphs might be better for comparing individual items.


Putting two sets of data on one graph in Excel is a handy skill that can enhance your data analysis and presentation. Whether you’re in the corporate world, academia, or just love crunching numbers, mastering this technique can give your data that extra edge. Just remember to select the right type of graph, customize it for clarity, and be mindful of the pros and cons.

For those who want to dive deeper into Excel’s capabilities, there’s a wealth of resources available online and in bookstores. And as you become more familiar with Excel, you’ll discover even more ways to bring your data to life. So, why not start experimenting with your graphs today? After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, and a well-crafted graph could be worth even more.

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