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Line Chart (Results)

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About Line Charts

A Line Chart visualization allows you to view answer options or field values as a series of data points connected by line segments. One axis of the visualization shows the specific answer options being measured, and the other axis represents a discrete value (e.g., counts or percentages of respondents with that option).

Qtip: Line Charts are often used with a breakout by a date field to view a trend in data over intervals of time.

a line chart

Customization Options

For general settings, see the Visualizations Overview support page. Read on for settings specific to the Line Chart.

Display Options

various options ion the visualization editing pane to the right

You have six settings under the Display Options list in the visualization editing pane. Some of these options will be enabled by default, but you can enable any combination of these options to achieve your desired visualization:

  • Show X Axis: Display the X axis and its values in the visualization.
  • Show Y Axis: Display the Y axis and its values in the visualization.
  • Normalize to Percentages: Display the percentage of respondents who answered or were assigned each option instead of the count.
  • Show Area: Color in the area beneath each line.
    a line chart with shaded area underneath
  • Smooth Lines: Use curved line segments between points rather than straight ones.
    line chart with rounded edges
  • Show Legend: Display the legend values at the bottom, to the left, or inset within the graph.

Axis Values

Whenever you apply a breakout to a Line Chart, the visualization is broken into several lines, one for each of the legend values. The breakout options (or “axis values”) appear along the X axis. You can edit the text of these axis values by clicking directly into the text box for the name and entering the new name.

Axis Values in the visualization editing pane

Legend Values

You have a variety of options concerning the answer names (or “legend values”), including the following:

  • Change the legend value text by clicking directly into the textbox for the name and entering the new name.
    legend values in the visualization editing pane
  • Adjust the color of the option by clicking directly on the color box to the left of the value and selecting a new color.
    clicking the colored box next to a legend value lets you select a color palette
  • Change the order the values appear in the visualization by clicking to the left of a value and dragging it to its desired position.
    a legend value being dragged and dropped elsewhere
  • Hide values from the visualization by deselecting the checkbox to the left of the value.
    deselected legend value doesn't appear in the line chart


Whenever you apply a breakout to a Line Chart, the visualization is broken into several lines. When you add this breakout, the choices from the question set in the data source become the legend values, and the choices from the question you’re breaking out by become the legend values. You can switch these two around by clicking the Transpose button.

transpose button on the bottom of the visualization editing pane

Incompatible Fields

Line Charts are compatible with almost every kind of variable in Qualtrics because they can display both discrete data (e.g., a finite, five point scale) and continuous data (e.g., a question where respondents type in their age). This includes most question types, survey metadata, Embedded Data, and custom variables, such as Formulas or Bucketed variables.

Below are the few variables Line Charts are not compatible with:

In general, Line Charts are incompatible with open text content that is not numeric.

Qtip: Be careful with numeric data collected from open-ended questions and with finite scales that have hundreds of choices. A Line Chart cannot comfortably display hundreds of choices, so for variables like these, it might be better to set your metric as mean or use filter so fewer results are included.