Charting a mathematical equation using Excel and defined names

When doing mathematics, wouldn't it be nice if we could type an equation into a cell in Excel and immediately see the resulting graph?
An Excel chart based on a mathematical equation

This article describes how this can be achieved by using just 4 input cells and a set of defined names.


  1. Introduction
  2. Create the Chart
  3. x-values
  4. y-values
  5. Sample Equations

Turns out this trick has been demonstrated before: Stephen Bullen has created an almost identical version of this workbook a long time ago, probably using Excel 5. Look for a download called