How to Use TREND in Excel


Excel is the spreadsheet software of the Microsoft's Office suite of productivity software. It is commonly available on most PCs and a large number of Macs. Excel manages information through a series of tables. The values in the tables can be inter-related and manipulated through built-in functions. TREND is a built-in function that "returns values along a linear trend," according to Microsoft's website.

  • Open Excel, and either open a data file or type data into a blank worksheet. The data must be at least one-dimensional (a list of points), though two-dimensional data (two values per data point, as on a graph) can be processed also. Data values should be in a consecutive list with one data point per cell.

  • In the cell where you want the trend calculated, type "=TREND(" in the formula box and then hold the "Shift" key while selecting the dependent data points (y-values on a graph). This should insert an array of cells that is formatted like A1:A14, except with the appropriate letters and numbers.

  • If you have a set of independent data points (x-values on a graph), insert a comma into the formula then select ONLY those data points that directly correspond to the dependent data points already selected.

  • The best way to calculate a trend is to also include future independent data points. This allows the function to correctly predict where you are going. If you have such data points, insert a comma and then select the data points.

  • Once all the values have be inserted a close parentheses is needed, ")", to complete the formula. Press "Enter," and the trend should be calculated.

Tips & Warnings

  • This works on Microsoft Office 2007. The trend syntax is: TREND('y-values', ['x-values'], ['future x-values'], ['constant']).

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