How to Add a Trendline in Google Sheets Quickly

To understand where the direction of a trend is going on a chart, you need a trendline. Here’s how to add a trendline in Google Sheets.

trendline is created in google sheets

To get a greater understanding of your chart, you need a trendline which draws directions in something, like market prices. Here’s how to add a trendline in Google Sheets with different types of trendlines.

A trendline is simply a line drawn on charts to give clearer ideas about trends in particular periods of time. It’s a pattern that is drawn giving you an idea, for instance, of the direction of the investment value, moves over time.

A trendline is something important in the financial world or in anything that works with data. A spreadsheet is one of the media you can use to show the trendline. One of the spreadsheet services that can do that is Google Sheets.

How to add a trendline in Google Sheets

Obviously, to create a trendline in Google Sheets, all you need is a chart. Without a chart, it’s impossible to draw a trendline automatically in Google Sheets. If you already have a chart, skip to the next step.

How to create a chart

Creating a chart in Google Sheets is easy. All you need is a range of cells as the data source to make the chart. Once you have it there, click Insert. Choose Chart at the bottom.

how to add a trendline in google sheets

Creating the trendline

You can add a trendline in Google Sheets as easy as clicking a single button. You can add a trendline to a line, column, bar, or scattered chart on your Google Sheets spreadsheet.

Simply click the chart, or double-click it until you see a Chart editor sidebar on the right side of your screen.

trendline of a chart in google sheets

This is a tool you use to customize and set up the chart. In Customize, you can find the Series section where you can add a trendline to your chart. Scroll to the bottom.

customize the chart to add a trendline

Scroll to the bottom in that section until you find Trendline. To add a trendline to your chart, simply checkmark the Trendline. Once it is mark checked, it will automatically draw a trendline. By default, it will draw a linear trendline.

adding a trendline

Now you have added a trendline to your chart, and you can see it immediately on the chart. You can also customize it as you’d like, including changing the trendline type from linear to another, the line color, and stuff.

How to customize the trendline in Google Sheets

On the Customize section > Series > Trendline, you can customize almost anything about the trendline.

changing trendline type from linear

To change the type, simply click the selected option in the Type to change it to something else, like Exponential, Polynomial, Logarithmic, Power Series, or Moving Average. Each trendline type draws the line differently, uses different equations, and for different purposes.

linear, exponential, polynomial, logarithmic, power series, moving average trendline

This is an example of a linear trendline on the chart.

trendline on a chart

You can also change the line color. There are infinite options of colors to choose from. You can either choose the one already picked there or choosing a custom color.

changing trendline color in google sheets

You can also change the opacity if the trendline can’t be seen with the color option you choose and change the line thickness if it’s too thick or too thin. You can also add a custom label or equation for the trendline.

custom label for a trendline in google sheets

Write the custom label and press Enter.

changing a label for trendline in google sheets

Let’s take a look at the trendline you’ve made. You will immediately see the trendline on your chart.

trendline is created in google sheets

Different trendline types and which one you should use

There are different types of trendlines in Google Sheets, and each gives a different perspective of how your chart moved over a period of time and of how it will move over the next period of time.

Linear trendline

A linear trendline literally means a straight line of your trendline. It gives the simplest perspective of how the data moves over time and the easiest trendline most people can comprehend.

Although this might be the simplest, it might not cover a better understanding if you want to deeply analyze your data or when the rate of changes fluctuate, change too quickly, increases exponentially, and other complicated conditions.

Exponential trendline

An exponential trendline is the best type of trendline you can use for data when the value increases or decreases at a higher rate over time. It is usually useful to see the growth of a population or anything else that increases rapidly like the pandemic.

Polynomial trendline

A polynomial trendline is best used for data that fluctuates. If you want to see a short-term gain or loss between periods of time or track your expenses and see when you spend the most money, this is the trendline type you want to use.

Logarithmic trendline

A logarithmic trendline is usually used to show whether the growth rate of the data increases constantly or not. If it isn’t, it will show a rapid rate change at first but then equalizes. When used to show pandemic growth, it points out when the cases rise rapidly and when they slow.

Power series trendline

A power trendline is used to see measurements at the same rate. It is similar to the exponential trendline but is used differently, for example, the acceleration of a car.

Moving average trendline

A moving average trendline is used to smoothen the curve on a chart to show the trend pattern more clearly and to forecast long-term trends. In finance, it’s usually used in technical analyses for stock indicators, smoothening out prices by showing average prices that are always updated.

Trendlines when showed visually are easy to understand, but the functions behind them might be more difficult to grasp. Google Sheets has the feature to make that easier, with more options to visualize them.

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