# MS Excel: LINEST Function (WS)

Learn how to use the Excel **LINEST function** with syntax and examples.

## Description

The Microsoft Excel **LINEST function** uses the least squares method to calculate the statistics for a straight line and returns an array describing that line. The **LINEST function** uses the following line equation:

y = mx + b (for a single range of x values) y = m1x1 + m2x2 + ... + b (for multiple ranges of x values)

## Syntax

The syntax for the Microsoft Excel **LINEST function** is:

LINEST( y_values, [x_values], [constant], [additional_statistics] )

### Parameters or Arguments

*y_values* is the known set of "y values" from the line equation.

*x_values* is the optional. It is the known set of "x values" from the line equation. If this parameter is omitted, *x_values* is assumed to be {1,2,3,...} with the same number of values as *y_values*.

*constant* is optional. It is either TRUE or FALSE. If this parameter is omitted, the function will assume TRUE. If *constant* is TRUE, *b* in the line equation is calculated normally. If *constant* is FALSE, *b* becomes 0 so that the line equation is evalulated as **y = mx**.

additional_statistics is optional. It is either TRUE or FALSE. If this parameter is omitted, the function will assume FALSE. If additional_statistics is TRUE, the function will return additional regression statistics. If additional_statistics is FALSE, the function will returns only *m* coefficients and *b* constant.

## Applies To

The **LINEST function** can be used in the following versions of Microsoft Excel:

- Excel 2013, Excel 2011 for Mac, Excel 2010, Excel 2007, Excel 2003, Excel XP, Excel 2000

## Type of Excel Function

The **LINEST function** can be used in Microsoft Excel as the following type of function:

- Worksheet function (WS)

## Example (as Worksheet Function)

Let's look at some Excel LINEST function examples and explore how to use the **LINEST function** as a worksheet function in Microsoft Excel:

This first example we have entered the y values in column A (cells A2 through A6) and the x values in column B (cells B2 through B6). Then we have entered the following **LINEST function** in both cells D2 and E2 as follows:

=LINEST(A2:A6,B2:B6,TRUE,FALSE)

The **LINEST functions** are written as array formulas. When creating your array formula, you need to do the following:

- Enter the formulas in both cells D2 and E2
- Highlight cells D2 and E2
- Press F2 (in Windows) or CONTROL-U (on Mac)
- Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter

This creates {} brackets around your formulas as follows:

{=LINEST(A2:A6,B2:B6,TRUE,FALSE)}

You can see how the formula look in the images below.

The value in cell D2 returns the slope of 0.5 and the value in cell E2 returns the y-intercept of 0.

This formula could also be written as follows (entering values instead of cell ranges):

=LINEST({2,3,5,7,10},{4,6,10,14,20},TRUE,FALSE)

The **LINEST functions** are written as array formulas. When creating your array formula, you need to do the following:

- Enter the formulas in both cells D2 and E2
- Highlight cells D2 and E2
- Press F2 (in Windows) or CONTROL-U (on Mac)
- Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter

This creates {} brackets around your formulas as follows:

{=LINEST({2,3,5,7,10},{4,6,10,14,20},TRUE,FALSE)}