You want to perform a quick linear curve fit without using chart trendlines and without having to write the least-squares formulas yourself.

Use Excel's `LINEST`

function.

`LINEST`

computes statistics for a least-squares straight line through a given set of data. The syntax for `LINEST`

is `{= LINEST(`

`y-value cell range`

`,`

`x-value cell range`

`,`

`compute intercept`

`,`

`compute statistics`

`)}`

. Note the braces surrounding this formula since it is an *array* formula. When you type this formula into a cell, you have to press Ctrl-Shift-Enter to enter it. Further, you have to select a 2 × 5 grid of cells before typing and entering the formula. This is because `LINEST`

returns an array of data containing the various statistics computed for the best-fit line.

The first argument in `LINEST`

is a cell range containing the *y*-values for the data to be fit, and the second argument is a cell range containing the *x*-values. The third argument is a logical value (`true`

or `false`

) specifying whether or not to force the intercept of the fit line to pass through zero. If `true`

, the intercept is calculated in the usual least-squares manner. If `false`

, the intercept is forced to zero, with the slope computed accordingly. The fourth argument is a logical value indicating whether or not to display extended statistics for the best-fit line. These extended statistics include such things as standard errors and residual sums. (See the "LINEST" ...

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