Removing a Trendline Error Message

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 8, 2020)

1

Richard's computer recently updated Windows 10 and now his Excel charts that have trendlines all have a little message in the top-left corner stating "trendline error." Richard doesn't know if this is related to the Windows update or not, but he needs to understand why the message appeared and how to remove it.

The appearance of this message wasn't caused by an update in Windows, but by an update in the Office 365 version of Excel. The first reports about this message were near the end of July, so it is a relatively recent issue. You can see it discussed in this Microsoft forum:

https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/excel/chart-displaying-quot-trendline-error-quot/m-p/1538964

The participants indicated that the error occurs when the X values (those indicated along the horizontal axis) are either 0 or very close in value to each other. This results in a calculated "infinite slope" that cannot provide any meaningful trend that can be displayed.

It seems, though, that the message may also appear in places it shouldn't. For instance, take a look at this discussion on a different Microsoft forum:

https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/msoffice/forum/all/pivot-chart-trending-error/e1471b3e-ad2c-4776-837a-c42fa6410f9b

In this case, the message was appearing on PivotCharts, even when the chart did not contain a trendline. In this instance, the appearance of the message is definitely an error, and was reported to Microsoft. This means that it should be corrected—at least for charts that contain no trendlines—in a future release of the program.

It remains to be seen whether the fix, when it comes, will affect those charts where the X values are close to the same. It is also unclear whether Microsoft will make it a configuration option to display or not display this message. In the meantime, the only solution would be to try removing the trendlines for those charts where a trendline makes little sense.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7631) applies to Microsoft Excel Excel in Office 365.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Setting User Information

Need to change the information that Word stores about you? Here's how to find the info.

Discover More

Selectively Changing Endnotes to Footnotes

Want to turn some (but not all) of your endnotes into footnotes. Rather than do it manually, you can apply the shortcut ...

Discover More

Adding Footnotes to Endnotes

Word does footnotes. Word does endnotes. Word doesn't do footnotes within endnotes. Here's a discussion as to why and ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Unselecting a Chart Item

When formatting a chart, you select elements and then change the properties of those elements until everything looks just ...

Discover More

Understanding Custom Chart Templates

Excel allows you to create custom chart formats that go beyond the standard formats provided in the program. These custom ...

Discover More

Changing Text in Text Boxes on a Chart

Macros allow you to make changes to virtually anything you can see in Excel. This tip examines how to make changes (even ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 4?

2021-04-28 15:55:25

Pat

Frustratingly enough I am experiencing this same error and have yet to find a way to troubleshoot. Thank you for posting the forum links, hopefully I'll turn up something.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.