How to add a vertical line to the chart

Excel 2016 2013 2010 2007
This tip is about how to add a vertical line in your chart. E.g., this will be useful to show data and highlight a current date.
Chart with vertical line in Excel 365

To add a vertical line to your line or scatter chart, do the following:

   1.   Add the date with the current date to your data, for example:

Data in Excel 365

   2.   To add a new data series to your chart, do one of the following:

  • On the Chart Design tab, in the Data group, choose Select Data:
    Select Data in Excel 365
  • Right-click in the chart area and choose Select Data... in the popup menu:
    Select Data in popup menu Excel 365

In the Select Data Source dialog box, click the Add button and in the Edit Series dialog box, type:

  • In the Series values box - the cell with the current date ($C$2):
New Data Series in Excel 365

   3.   If it is necessary, change data series:

  • Right-click in the new data series and choose Change Series Chart Type... in the popup menu:
    Change Series Chart Type in Excel 365
  • In the Change Chart Type dialog box, choose the Scatter type:
    Change Series Chart Type in Excel 365

In the Select Data Source dialog box, click the Edit button, and in the Edit Series dialog box, type:

  • In the Series X values box - the cell with the current date ($C$2)
  • In the Series Y values box - constant value (1):
New Data Series in Excel 365

   4.   Select the new data series, then do one of the following:

  • Click on the Chart Elements button, select the Error Bars list, then choose More Options...:
    Chart Elements - Error Bars in Excel 365
  • On the Chart Design tab, in the Chart Layouts group, click the Add Chart Element drop-down list:
    Add Chart Element button in Excel 365

    In the Add Chart Element drop-down list, choose the Error Bars list, then click More Error Bars Options...:

    More Error Bars Options in Excel 365

Excel propose several error bars, also you can use More Error Bars Options.... If necessary, you can fine-tune the error bar settings from the Format Error Bars pane:

Format Error Bars Options in Excel 365

If you change the date, the chart will be changed too:

Chart with vertical line in Excel 365

You can then make any other adjustments to get the expected look.

See also this tip in French: Comment ajouter une ligne verticale au graphique.

If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to ask OfficeToolTips team.