How to Create an S Curve Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating an S curve in Excel is a way to visually represent growth over time. It’s often used in project management and business analysis to forecast performance. After reading this paragraph, you should have a basic understanding of how to create an S curve in Excel using data points, chart tools, and some nifty formatting tricks.

Step by Step Tutorial to Create an S Curve in Excel

Creating an S curve in Excel might seem daunting, but it’s actually quite straightforward once you break it down. Let’s dive in!

Step 1: Enter Your Data

Input your time points and corresponding data values into two columns in Excel.

In the first column, list the time intervals for your project or analysis. In the second column, enter the data points that correspond to each time interval. Make sure your data is in chronological order to create an accurate S curve.

Step 2: Insert a Scatter Plot

Go to the ‘Insert’ tab and click on ‘Scatter’ to insert a scatter plot.

After you’ve entered your data, highlight it and then click on ‘Insert’ in Excel’s top menu. From there, choose the ‘Scatter’ chart option. This will create a basic scatter plot, which is the foundation of your S curve.

Step 3: Add a Trendline

Right-click on a data point, select ‘Add Trendline,’ and choose the ‘Logarithmic’ option.

Once your scatter plot is in place, right-click on any of the data points in the graph. From the dropdown menu, select ‘Add Trendline.’ In the Trendline options, choose the ‘Logarithmic’ type to create the distinctive S shape.

Step 4: Format the Trendline

Customize the trendline to extend and smooth out the curve.

After adding your logarithmic trendline, you can format it further to extend the line, so it covers the full range of your data and smooths out to create a more defined S shape. You can do this by right-clicking the trendline, selecting ‘Format Trendline,’ and adjusting the options as needed.

Step 5: Finalize Your Chart

Adjust the chart title, axis labels, and other formatting options to finish your S curve.

Your S curve is almost complete! Now, it’s just a matter of adding finishing touches like a descriptive chart title, axis labels, and maybe some color to make it pop. Play around with Excel’s formatting tools to make your chart easy to read and visually appealing.

What Happens After You Complete the Action

Once you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have a functional and visually appealing S curve that represents your data over time. You can use this curve to analyze growth trends, make forecasts, and present your findings in a clear and professional manner.

Tips for Creating an S Curve in Excel

  • Ensure your data is accurate and in chronological order before starting.
  • Use the scatter plot for a more precise representation of data points.
  • Choose the logarithmic trendline to get the right S shape.
  • Extend and smooth out the trendline for a cleaner curve.
  • Customize your chart with titles, labels, and colors for better readability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an S curve used for?

An S curve is used to represent cumulative growth over time, often in the context of project management or business analysis.

Can I create an S curve with any type of data?

Yes, as long as your data represents a growth trend over time and you have enough data points for the curve to be meaningful.

Do I have to use a scatter plot to create an S curve?

While you can use other chart types, a scatter plot is recommended for the most accurate representation of your data points.

Is a logarithmic trendline the only option for an S curve?

A logarithmic trendline is best for creating the S shape, but you can experiment with other trendline options depending on your data.

Can I customize the appearance of my S curve?

Absolutely! Excel offers a wide range of formatting tools to customize your chart, including colors, labels, and titles.


  1. Enter your data into two columns.
  2. Insert a scatter plot.
  3. Add a logarithmic trendline.
  4. Format the trendline.
  5. Finalize your chart.


Creating an S curve in Excel is a powerful way to visualize and analyze growth patterns in your project or business. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can transform your raw data into a clear, insightful S curve that will help you understand and communicate the progress and potential of your endeavors.

Remember that like any tool, the value of an S curve excel depends on the quality of the data you input and the context in which you interpret it. Always double-check your data for accuracy and consider the broader context of your analysis.

If you’re looking to dive deeper into Excel’s capabilities, there’s a wealth of resources available online, from in-depth tutorials to user communities where you can ask questions and share insights. So why not start mastering your S curve skills today? Your projects (and your stakeholders) will thank you!