How to Create a Chart or Graph in Google Sheets

Last Updated on January 10, 2024 by Jake Sheridan

In this guide, you will learn all about graphs & charts in Google Sheets.

18 Types of Graphs & Charts in Google Sheets

What graphs and charts are available in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets comes with a wide library of built-in charts and graphs you can use to display your data.

Let’s go over each of these chart options and see what situations each chart is best used for.

1. Line Chart

Line charts allow you to display your dataset as a series of data points connected by line segments.

This type of chart is ideal for showing trends and changes over time.

More instructions: How to Create a Line Chart in Google Sheets

2. Area Chart

Similar to a line chart, an area chart shows trends over time, but the area below the line is filled with color or shading.

It emphasizes the magnitude of change over time.

This type of chart is suitable for demonstrating the volume change over time, like website traffic, stock market trends, or resource utilization.

More instructions: How To Create An Area Chart In Google Sheets

3. Column Chart

A column chart displays data as vertical bars, with the height of each bar representing the value.

The chart is divided into categories along the horizontal axis.

Effective for comparing different categories or groups, such as sales performance across different regions, survey results, or demographic data.

They are also ideal for showing trends over time.

More instructions: How To Create A Column Chart In Google Sheets

4. Bar Chart

The bar chart is similar to a column chart but with horizontal bars.

The length of each bar correlates to the value it represents.

They are especially effective when dealing with longer category names or a large number of categories, as they provide more space for labeling.

More instructions: How To Create A Bar Chart In Google Sheets

5. Combo Chart

A combo chart combines two or more chart types, like a line and bar chart, to display different types of data on the same chart.

These charts typically share the same X-axis but may have different Y-axes.

A combo chart is best used when you want to compare multiple data sets that have different units of measurement.

For example, comparing revenue (in dollars) and units sold over the same period.

More instructions: How To Create A Combo Chart In Google Sheets

6. Pie Chart

A pie chart is a circular graph divided into slices to illustrate numerical proportion.

Each slice’s size is proportional to its contribution to the total sum.

This chart is best for showing the composition or proportion of data, like market share, survey results, or budget allocation.

More instructions: How To Create A Pie Chart In Google Sheets

7. Scatter Chart

A scatter chart uses dots to represent values for two different numeric variables.

The position of each dot on the horizontal and vertical axis indicates values for an individual data point.

Useful for showing the relationship between two variables, identifying correlations, or detecting outliers, like in scientific experiments or quality testing results.

More instructions: How To Create A Scatter Chart In Google Sheets

8. Histogram Chart

The histogram chart displays the distribution of data points across consecutive intervals or ‘bins’.

It looks similar to a bar chart but represents data in continuous intervals.

It’s ideal for understanding the distribution or frequency of data, such as age groups in a population, examination scores, or temperature variations.

More instructions: How To Create A Histogram Chart In Google Sheets

9. Candlestick Chart

A candlestick chart displays price movements of financial instruments.

Each “candlestick” typically shows one day’s open, high, low, and close prices.

The wide part (the “body”) shows the open and close prices, while the lines (“wicks”) indicate the high and low.

Predominantly used in financial analysis for trading stocks, currencies, and commodities.

It helps traders discern market sentiment and identify possible price trends.

More instructions: How To Create A Candlestick Chart In Google Sheets

10. Organizational Chart

An organizational chart is a diagram that shows the structure of an organization and the relationships and relative ranks of its parts and positions/jobs.

The chart is typically hierarchical, showing entity relationships in a tree format.

More instructions: How To Create A Organisational Chart In Google Sheets

11. Tree map

A tree map is a chart of nested rectangles, each sized and colored according to some quantitative variable.

It provides a hierarchical view of data and makes efficient use of space.

More instructions: How To Make A Treemap Chart In Google Sheets

12. Geo chart

A geo chart, or geographical chart, is a map of a country, continent, or region, with colors and values assigned to specific regions.

These charts are often interactive, allowing for zooming and additional data tooltips.

This chart is ideal for displaying data that has a geographical component, like regional sales data, population density, or climate change information.

More instructions: How To Make A Geo Chart In Google Sheets

13. Waterfall Chart

A waterfall chart shows the cumulative effect of sequentially introduced positive or negative values.

The bars are typically color-coded to distinguish between increases and decreases.

The waterfall chart is commonly used in financial analysis to display how an initial value is affected by intermediate income and expenses, leading to a final value.

More instructions: How To Make A Waterfall Chart In Google Sheets

14. Radar Chart

A radar chart, also known as a spider chart, displays multivariate data in the form of a two-dimensional chart with three or more quantitative variables represented on axes starting from the same point.

Radar charts are useful for comparing multiple items or performance metrics across a range of characteristics, such as skills assessment, product comparison, or business analysis.

More instructions: How To Make A Radar Chart In Google Sheets

15. Scorecard Chart

A scorecard chart is a compact element you can use to display key performance indicators (KPIs).

It combines data and visual metrics to give a quick overview of a business’s performance.

More instructions: How To Make A Scorecard Chart In Google Sheets

16. Gauge

A gauge chart, or dial chart, displays data in a semi-circular meter.

It’s like a speedometer with a needle showing where your data point sits on a predetermined scale.

Gauge charts are effective for displaying key business indicators, like progress toward a goal, completion percentage, or performance against a target.

More instructions: How To Create A Gauge Chart In Google Sheets

17. Timeline Chart

An annotated timeline is a linear representation of events over time, with annotations or notes for specific points.

This can be interactive, allowing for zooming and additional data display.

More instructions: How To Make A Timeline Chart In Google Sheets

18. Table

A table displays information in rows and columns, making it easy to compare different data types and relationships between items.

It’s a grid of data organized neatly for analysis.

Compared to a typical Google Sheets table, table charts can be sorted and can split your dataset into multiple pages.

More instructions: How To Make A Table Chart In Google Sheets

How to Make a Chart in Google Sheets

Charts and graphs are a great way of visualizing your data in Google Sheets.

They can help summarize your dataset at a glance, and can help you discover trends and patterns in your data.

Here’s a quick guide you can follow to start making your own chart in a Google Sheets spreadsheet:

Step 1

Open your Google Sheets document.

Select the spreadsheet where you want to create a chart.

In this example, we have monthly historical data that captures data points from four different metrics.

Step 2

Highlight the data you want to include in your chart.

Click and drag your mouse over the cells that contain the data.

If all your data is in a single table, you can also use Ctrl+A to quickly select the entire table.

Step 3

Click on the Insert menu at the top of the screen.

From the dropdown list, select “Chart.”

This will open the Chart editor on the right side of your screen.

Step 4

In the Chart editor, under the “Setup” tab, you can choose the type of chart you want.

Google Sheets offers a variety of chart types like bar, line, pie, and area charts.

Step 5

Customize your chart using the options in the Chart editor.

You can change the chart style, colors, and add chart elements like titles, legends, and labels under the “Customize” tab.

In our chart below, we’ve adjusted the style (line color, line style, and line thickness) of each line representing each series in our chart.

How to Edit Google Sheets Graph

Editing a graph in Google Sheets involves several steps to adjust its appearance and data.

Here’s how you can do it yourself:

Step 1

Click on the graph you want to edit in your Google Sheets document.

This action will highlight the graph and reveal a small icon in the upper-right corner of the graph.

Click on the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the graph.

This will open a drop-down menu. From this menu, select “Edit chart.”

This will open the Chart editor on the right side of your screen.

Step 2

In the Chart editor, under the “Setup” tab, you can change the type of chart and the range of data being used.

Adjust the range by modifying the values in the data range box or by using the grid icon to select a new range on your sheet.

You can also add or remove series to include in your chart.

Step 3

Navigate to the “Customize” tab in the Chart editor to make stylistic changes.

Here, you can modify various aspects like chart style, chart & axis titles, series formatting, legend formatting, and adjusting the horizontal & vertical axis.

To change the title of your graph, click on “Chart & axis titles” in the “Customize” tab.

Select “Chart title” from the dropdown, and then type your desired title in the box.

Step 4

If you want to change the color or style of a particular series, click on “Series” in the “Customize” tab.

Choose the series you want to modify (if you have multiple series) and then make your adjustments.

In our example above, we modified the line color of Metric A to appear pink.

Step 5

Once you have made all your edits, simply click anywhere outside the Chart editor to close it.

Your changes will be automatically saved.

Step 6

You can also right-click on the chart to open a quick-access context menu containing a variety of chart options.

How to Copy and Paste Google Spreadsheet Graph

Copying and pasting a graph in Google Sheets can be done in a few simple steps:

Step 1

Open your Google Sheets document and navigate to the graph you want to copy.

Step 2

Click on the graph to select it. A border will appear around the graph, indicating it is selected.

Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+C (Windows) or Cmd+C (Mac) to copy the graph to your device’s clipboard.

Step 3

Go to the location where you want to paste the graph.

This could be another spot in the same spreadsheet, a different sheet in the same document, or a completely different Google Sheets document.

Step 4

Right-click on the cell or area where you want to paste the graph.

In the context menu that appears, select “Paste.”

The graph will now appear in the new location.

You can click and drag to reposition it or use the handles around the graph to resize it if necessary.

How To Move and Remove Google Sheets Charts

Sometimes, you may want to restructure your Google Sheets document, including moving where your charts are placed.

In some instances, you may want to delete a chart altogether.

Here’s a quick guide on how to move and remove a chart in Google Sheets.

Step 1

Open your Google Sheets document and locate the chart you want to move or remove.

Step 2

To move the chart, click on it to select it.

You will see a border around the chart and a small menu bar.

Click and hold on the chart, then drag it to the new location where you want it placed.

Release the mouse button to drop the chart in the desired position.

Step 3

If you need to adjust the size of the chart after moving it, use the small squares (handles) on the chart’s border to resize it.

Click and drag these handles to make the chart larger or smaller.

Step 4

To remove the chart, click on it to select it.

This time, look for the three vertical dots in the upper right corner of the chart and click on them to open a drop-down menu.

In the drop-down menu, select “Delete chart.”

The chart will be immediately removed from your spreadsheet.

When a chart is selected, you can also use the Backspace or Delete key on your keyboard to remove the selected chart.

How do I make a Chart with multiple data sets in Google Sheets?

In some instances, you may have multiple datasets that you want to visualize in a single chart.

Luckily, Google Sheets allows you to select multiple ranges as a data source for a chart.

Here’s how to create a chart that uses multiple datasets in Google Sheets.

Step 1

Open the Google Sheets document containing the data you wish to display as a chart.

In the example above, we have five different metrics placed in separate tables in our sheet.

While they are not consolidated in a single dataset, we can still use each of these ranges in our chart.

Step 2

Click on the Insert menu at the top of the screen.

From the dropdown list, select the Chart option.

This will open the Chart editor on the right side of your screen.

Step 3

In the Chart editor, click on the grid button seen below.

Type all the data ranges containing your data.

You may also use your cursor to select these ranges quickly.

Click on OK to proceed.

Step 4

Google Sheets will automatically consider all of these ranges when generating your chart.

Do note that this method will only work as intended if all your series data follows the same x-axis.

In this case, all of our data ranges share the same timespan from January to December.

How do I visualize data in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets offers a variety of ways to visualize data, enabling users to interpret and present their data effectively.

Here are some of the key data visualization methods available in Google Sheets:

Charts

Google Sheets provides a wide range of chart types, such as bar, line, pie, scatter, area, and more.

Each type can be customized to fit specific data visualization needs.

Charts can also be published to the web, making them easily shareable with a larger audience.

Conditional Formatting

This feature allows users to apply specific formatting to cells based on certain criteria.

For example, you can highlight cells that contain values above or below a threshold, or color-code cells based on a scale.

Sparkline Charts

These are miniature charts placed inside single cells, each representing a row of data in your sheet.

Sparklines are useful for showing trends and variations in a compact form.

Summary

Hopefully this guide has given you an overview of creating and customising charts and graphs in Google Sheets.

What’s Next?

Explore some of the other useful resources on Sheets for Marketers: