How to Combine Graphs in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By Matthew Simpson

Combining graphs in Excel can seem daunting, but it’s really just a few clicks away. By following a simple step-by-step process, you’ll be able to merge two or more charts into one, allowing for a more comprehensive data analysis and comparison. It’s a great way to make your data visually appealing and easier to interpret.

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Combine Graphs in Excel

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. Combining graphs in Excel allows us to overlay or merge two or more charts, giving us a clearer picture of our data by comparing different datasets in a single view.

Step 1: Insert the first graph

Choose the data for your first graph and insert a chart by going to the ‘Insert’ tab and selecting the chart type you want.

Creating your first graph is as simple as selecting the data range and choosing the appropriate chart type. Excel offers a variety of chart types like Line, Column, and Pie charts, each serving a different purpose. Make sure you pick one that best represents your data.

Step 2: Insert the second graph

Repeat the process for the second set of data.

When you insert the second graph, it’s important to consider how it will interact with the first. For instance, if both datasets have vastly different scales, using a secondary axis might be necessary to maintain clarity in the combined chart.

Step 3: Copy the second graph

Right-click on the second graph, select ‘Copy’ or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C.

Copying the graph is straightforward. Ensure that you click on the chart area to highlight the entire graph before copying.

Step 4: Paste the second graph onto the first

Click on the first graph and paste the second graph using ‘Paste Special’.

After copying the second graph, click anywhere on the first graph. Then, go to ‘Home’ > ‘Paste’ > ‘Paste Special’. This will bring up a dialog box where you can choose how to paste the graph.

Step 5: Format the combined graph

Adjust the formatting of the combined graph as needed, including the chart type, axis labels, and legends.

The final step is to make sure your combined graph looks good. This may involve adjusting the scale of the secondary axis (if you’re using one), aligning data series, and making sure the legends and labels are clear and not overlapping.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a single combined graph that displays multiple datasets. This can be a powerful visual tool for presentations and data analysis, as it allows viewers to compare different sets of data at a glance.

Tips: How to Combine Graphs in Excel

  • Always ensure that the chart types you choose are compatible for combining; not all chart types can be combined smoothly.
  • Use a secondary axis if the data sets have different scales to prevent misinterpretation of data.
  • Carefully format your combined graph to avoid cluttering; too much information can be overwhelming.
  • Consider using colors and patterns to differentiate between the data sets on the combined graph.
  • Save your work frequently to avoid losing any progress in case of an unexpected error.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I combine more than two graphs?

Yes, you can combine multiple graphs; however, ensure that the resulting graph is still clear and interpretable.

What should I do if my data sets have different units or scales?

You should use a secondary axis for one of the data sets. This can be done in the ‘Format Data Series’ options.

Will combining graphs in Excel work with all chart types?

No, some chart types may not combine well, like pie charts. It’s best to stick with similar types, such as line and column charts.

Can I customize the design of the combined graph?

Absolutely, Excel allows you to customize the design extensively, including colors, fonts, and data labels.

What if the combined graph looks cluttered?

Try simplifying by removing unnecessary data, reducing the number of data series, or enlarging the chart area for better clarity.


  1. Insert the first graph
  2. Insert the second graph
  3. Copy the second graph
  4. Paste the second graph onto the first
  5. Format the combined graph


Combining graphs in Excel is a valuable skill that can enhance your data analysis and presentation abilities. By overlaying multiple datasets, you create a richer, more informative visual representation of your information. It’s crucial to approach this process methodically, ensuring that your final product is both visually appealing and easy to understand. Remember to choose compatible chart types, use a secondary axis if necessary, and format your graph for maximum clarity. With practice, combining graphs will become second nature, and you’ll be able to unlock new insights from your data with ease. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations and styles; after all, each dataset tells a unique story, and your graph is the medium through which that story is conveyed. Happy graphing!