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Make a Area Chart Online with Plotly and Excel

Area Charts with Plotly

Step 1

Upload your Excel data to Plotly's grid

Open the data file for this tutorial in Excel. You can download the file here in CSV format

Excel view

Step 2

Head to Plotly

Head to Plotly's Workspace and sign into your free Plotly account. Go to 'Import', click 'Upload a file', then choose your Excel file to upload. Your Excel file will now open in Plotly's grid. For more about Plotly's grid, see this tutorial

Import data

Step 3

Adding Fill Under Traces

To make an area plot from a line plot, edit the 'Fill To' attribute in the MODE tab of the TRACES popover.

Here's how the TRACES popover for 'trace 0' looks. Notice 'Fill To' has been set to 'Y=0'.

Fill

Here's how the TRACES popover for 'trace 1' looks. Notice 'Fill To' has been set to 'Next Y'.

 Set fill to

Step 4

Optional styling to make your plot prettier

Nice! Now you have your area plot. If you want, you can change the colors and apply smoothing to the lines to get a chart that looks like one at the top of the tutorial.

Here's how your area chart looks before styling.

Chart before styling

Here's how the TRACES popover looks with smoothing and the change of colors.

Style Tab

The smoothing button is highlighted in red.

Smoothing buttons highlighted

Here's how the AXES popover looks with the axes lines thickened and made white.

Axes popover lines tab

Here's how the LAYOUT popover looks with the plot and margin background color changed to grey.

Background color

Step 5

Export & Share

Download an image of your Plotly graph by clicking EXPORT on the toolbar.

Export

Your finished chart should look something like this:

Finished

To add the Excel file to your workbook, click where you want to insert the picture inside Excel. On the INSERT tab inside Excel, in the ILLUSTRATIONS group, click PICTURE. Locate the Plotly graph image that you downloaded and then double-click it. Notice that we also copy-pasted the Plotly graph link in a cell for easy access to the interactive Plotly version.

Plot in Excel

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