A line graph shows how two pieces of information vary in relation to each other. For example, a line graph can show how the cost of shipping changed over a five year period, or how a population of insects grew or shrank as temperature changed.

Line graph with emphasized data points

  1. Start Visio.

  2. In Visio 2013 and newer versions: Under the search button, click Business > Charts and Graphs > Create.

    In Visio 2010: Under Template Categories, click Business > Charts and Graphs > Create.

  3. From Charting Shapes, drag the Line graph shape onto the drawing page, and then select the number of data points you want.

    Tip: To change the number of data points later, right-click the line graph, click Set Number of Data Points, and then select a number.

  4. Set the length of the x-axis and y-axis, and then add value and name labels to points along each axis:

    1. Pause the pointer over the control handle Control handle image - yellow diamond at the end of the x-axis, and then drag the handle to the length you want.

    2. Repeat step 1 for the y-axis.

    3. To zoom in, hold down CTRL+SHIFT and click the graph.

    4. From Charting Shapes, drag the Y-axis label shape onto the drawing page. Line it up at the x- and y-axis origin, so that its horizontal line is flush with the x-axis.

    5. With the Y-axis label shape selected, press CTRL+D to create a copy. Position the second label toward the top of the y-axis, so that its horizontal line is flush with the highest value.

      Tip: To nudge a shape into position, select the shape and then press the arrow key that represents the direction you want.

    6. Repeat to create labels for additional values along the y-axis.

    7. Select each label shape, and then type the value or name that corresponds to the shape's position on the axis.

    8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 using X-axis label shapes, and positioning them along the x-axis.

      Tip: To space the value labels evenly, select all the labels along an axis. On the Shape menu, click Distribute Shapes, and then click the first option under Left/Right or Up/Down.

  5. Drag the control handle associated with each data point to the appropriate value on the y-axis.

  6. Add annotations to explain values or changes in values.

    1. From Charting Shapes, drag a 1-D or 2-D word balloon, horizontal callout, or annotation shape onto the drawing page.

    2. With the shape selected, type the text you want.

    3. Drag the control handle or endpoint at the end of the pointer to change the pointer's length or direction.

  7. To add a title to the graph, from Charting Shapes, drag a Text block shape onto the drawing page. With the text block selected, type a title.

Tip: If you want to highlight the data points on your line graph, use the Graph Line and Data Point shapes on Charting Shapes.

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