Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
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Plotting Mathematical Functions
Plotting Mathematical Functions
An Excel chart is a good way to display a mathematical or trigonometric function plot. This tip
describes two function-plotting techniques:
h Plot a single-variable function by using a scatter chart.
h Plot a two-variable function by using a 3-D surface chart.
Plotting single-variable mathematical functions
A scatter chart (known as an XY chart in previous versions of Excel) displays a marker for each
set of paired values. For example, Figure 140-1 shows a plot of the SIN function. The chart plots
the calculated y value for values of x (expressed in radians) from –5 to +5 in increments of 0.5.
Each pair of x and y values appears as a data point in the chart, and the points are connected by
a line.
Figure 140-1: This chart plots the SIN(x).
The function is expressed as
y = SIN(x)
The corresponding formula in cell B2 (which is copied to the cells below) is
=SIN(A2)

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