How to Find Y Intercept on Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

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By Matthew Simpson

Finding the y-intercept on Excel might sound like a daunting task, but it’s actually quite simple! The y-intercept is where a line crosses the y-axis on a graph. Excel makes this easy to find using the built-in functions. In just a few steps, you can have your answer.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Find Y Intercept on Excel

Before we dive into the step-by-step guide, it’s important to understand what we’ll be doing. We will be using Excel’s graphing capabilities to plot a line using your data points. Then, we will use the linear equation of that line to find the y-intercept.

Step 1: Enter your data

Input your data points into two columns in Excel, one for x-values and one for y-values.

Here, you’re setting up your data so Excel can understand it. Make sure each x-value is paired with its corresponding y-value in the next column.

Step 2: Create a scatter plot

Highlight your data and insert a scatter plot via the Insert tab.

Creating a scatter plot will allow you to see your data points visually and help you find the trend line.

Step 3: Add a trendline

Right-click on a data point and select ‘Add Trendline’ to create a linear trendline.

Adding a trendline will create a straight line that best fits your scattered data points, which will help you find the y-intercept.

Step 4: Display the equation

In the trendline options, select the ‘Display Equation on chart’ checkbox.

This will show the equation of your trendline right on the graph. The equation will be in the form y = mx + b, where b is the y-intercept.

Step 5: Identify the y-intercept

Look at the equation displayed on your chart and find the constant term (b). This is your y-intercept.

Congratulations, you’ve found your y-intercept! It’s the number in the equation without any x attached to it.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a clear visual of your data’s trend line and a displayed equation with the y-intercept value.

Tips for Finding Y Intercept on Excel

  • Ensure your data is accurate and formatted correctly; errors can throw off your results.
  • Use the ‘Format Trendline’ options to make your trendline and equation more visible if needed.
  • Double-check that your trendline is set to ‘Linear’ to ensure you get a straight line equation.
  • If your data isn’t linear, a linear trendline might not be appropriate. Consider other types of trendlines.
  • Remember that the y-intercept is the point where the line crosses the y-axis, which corresponds to when x is zero.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my data isn’t linear?

If your data isn’t linear, using a linear trendline won’t give you an accurate y-intercept. Consider using a different type of trendline that better fits your data.

Can I find the y-intercept without graphing?

Yes, you can use the LINEST function in Excel to find the slope and y-intercept of your data, but graphing gives a visual that can be helpful.

What does the y-intercept represent?

The y-intercept represents the value of y when x is zero. It’s where the line crosses the y-axis on a graph.

Why can’t I see the equation on my chart?

Make sure you’ve checked the ‘Display Equation on chart’ option in the trendline settings. If it’s still not showing, try formatting the trendline label to make it visible.

Can I use this method for non-linear data?

You can use trendlines for non-linear data, but you’ll need to choose the type that fits your data (exponential, logarithmic, etc.).


  1. Enter your data into two columns in Excel.
  2. Create a scatter plot with your data.
  3. Add a trendline to the scatter plot.
  4. Display the equation of the trendline on the chart.
  5. Identify the y-intercept from the displayed equation.


Finding the y-intercept in Excel doesn’t have to feel like a math nightmare. By following the clear, step-by-step tutorial above, you’ll be able to quickly and accurately determine the y-intercept of any linear data set. Remember, the y-intercept is just the value where your line crosses the y-axis – or essentially where your data begins its journey on the graph. Excel’s powerful graphing and equation tools make this a breeze, even for those of us who might not be mathematically inclined. So, gather your data, fire up Excel, and give it a go. Who knows, you might just find yourself enjoying the process of bringing numbers to life through graphs and equations. And if you ever get stuck, just refer back to the tips and FAQs provided here. Happy graphing, and may your data always lead you to the right y-intercept on excel!