How to make a graph in google sheets

How to make a graph in google sheets

Table of Contents


2. Enter the points/data

3. Format the graph (labels, legends, titles)

4. Basic Statistical Analysis

5. Mini Project


As we have said many times, Google Sheets has many different functions. At this point, you should be able to enter and analyze data points. That is an amazing skill to have, but sometimes you may want to visualize the data for a presentation so that it is easier to understand. This is why today we will teach you the most basic but versatile type of graph in Google Sheets, the line graph. There are many other forms of graphs you can make, but the skills you learn to make a line graph, can be easily applied to other graphs.

Before starting, it may be useful to refresh your knowledge on how tables work, and the coordinate system here.

Enter in the points/data

Below we have a graph, displaying the position of an object, as a function of time. As we can see, the more time goes by, the further the object goes away.

However, what if we wanted to display this data visually, to prove that the object does in fact move further away as time goes on. We would do this, by creating a graph. In this case, specifically a line graph. Now, how would we do this? You can follow these simple steps.

Step 1: Highlight the data points (including the headers) which you want to be included in your graph.
Step 2: Go to insert, and then click chart

What this will do is automatically generate a graph, which Google Sheets thinks would work best. This will also open your “Chart Editor”, from which you can change and edit portions of the graph you do not like.

Step 3: Take a look at your graph, and decide if there are any portions of it you want to be changed.

The graph that was generated for us, actually happens to be a perfect graph. However, for the sake of teaching you how to edit certain portions of it, let us change certain parts. In the next section of this article, we will teach you how to change the style of the graph, the title, as well as how to edit the axis.

Format the Graph

Of course there are many different ways you can edit and format a graph within Google Sheets. However today we will teach you some of the most important ones to know.

I have set some objectives of what to change with the graph. We will:

  • Change the chart type
  • Change the name of the title
  • Change the axes

How to change the chart type

Step 1: Go to the chart editor, and select “Chart type”

This opens the many different possibilities of graphs you can choose from. As you see, you can have bar graphs, line graphs, as well as area graphs.

Step 2: Select the type of graph you want

As you can see, we selected an area graph, which transforms the graph’s data points into exactly that. There are many different types of graphs you can create, so be sure to play around with it.

How to change the name of the title

Step 1: Go to the chart editor, and hit the customize tab
Step 2: Select the “Chart & axis titles” portion of the editor
Step 3: Select what you want to edit the title of, in this case the Chart title

Through the Chart and Axis tab, you can edit the titles of multiple things. However, for the sake of this article, we will only edit the chart title.

Step 4: Edit the chart title under the “Title text” portion. We will make the chart title be “Graph Example #1”
Step 5: Make sure to see that your chart title has been edited correctly. In our case, it has!

How to change the axes

In case the graph you generated does not have the correct axes, we would need to edit them. For the sake of our example, let’s say we wanted to make the Position data be on the x axis, and the Time data be on the y axis.

Step 1: Go to the “Setup” portion of your chart editor
Step 2: Under X-axis, click whatever tab is underneath. We have highlighted it in red.
Step 3: Click the window shaped icon labeled “Select a data range”
Step 4: Highlight the data you want to be on the X axis (including the axis label). In our case, it would be the position data
Step 5: Make sure it changed correctly. In our case it did!
Step 6: Repeat, but for the Y Axis/Series Data

Basic Statistical Analysis

Now, for the sake of the rest of the article, I will return the graph to a normal scatterplot. It looks like so:

It is a nice graph, but how about we do some simple statistical analysis. There are many things you can do, but today I will teach you how to add a line of best fit and show its equation.

Step 1: Double click any one of the blue points. This will open the “Series” customization tab.
Step 2: Scroll down until you see the “Trendline” check box.
Step 3: Click the check box
Step 4: Scroll further down until you see the label dropdown list. Click it, and select “Use Equation”

What this does is display the equation of the line of best fit. You can use this equation in order to determine a good estimate for a line that would fit the rough data points you put in. This can prove to be very useful, especially if you are using spreadsheets for any scientific or mathematical applications.


Thank you for being part of this lesson, we hope you learned a lot. This was a different kind of lesson than the previous ones, so feel free to watch our commentated video below, as it may explain it better than the article. You can also view Google’s official article on this topic here. Lastly, as always, happy spreadsheeting 🙂

Graphs are essential to any good report and with Google sheets being a hugely popular option for spreadsheets these days, it only makes sense that you would want to know how to integrate graphs into it. This is what we will be talking about in this article.

Step by step tutorial for creating a chart in Google Sheets:

Time needed: 5 minutes.

We will be going through the steps that will allow you to create some awesome graphs, as well as the best ways in which you can optimize your reports to accommodate this need. It makes a lot of sense that you would want to make the best impression when you are conducting your report, so be sure to read everything closely.

    Open or Create a Google Sheet

Using a new or an existing Google Sheet, input the relevant details that you are trying to make a graph of. If you already have a vast and complicated report, you can certainly use that. However, if you are not that familiar with this platform yet, it would be best to have a more simplified report with two columns. One will be for the subject and the other will be for the figures.
How to make a graph in google sheets

Select insert chart

Select the Insert tool on the toolbar and click on the chart command on the dropdown menu.
How to make a graph in google sheets

Input Relevant Data

Using the editor tool on the right-hand side of the sheet, input the relevant parameters that will be included in your graph. In this case, we will be highting the two columns and all of the filled rows.
How to make a graph in google sheets

Check the Graph

Once you hit the Ok button, you will end up with a graph that looks like the example below.
If you want, though, you can also use the chart editor menu to change how the graph will look.
How to make a graph in google sheets

Change the type of the chart

If you want, though, you can also use the chart editor menu to change how the graph will look.
How to make a graph in google sheets

So, there you have it. You now know how to create an excellent graph when you are using Google Sheet. Using this same method, you can actually also create charts of different shapes and colors.

A graph is basically a visual representation of parameters that typically involve figures that correspond to particular subjects or items. It is often also referred to as a chart, though, there are some start differences between these two visualizations. To start with, there is the matter of shape and typical use.
Charts are often favored more for abstract or broader concepts rather than meticulous, specific details that deal with the minutiae of factors and figures. To put this in context, you can take into consideration such things as age, population, and average lifespans when using a chart.
These types of visual representations are meant to convey a sense of awe and to impress the audience. It is not necessarily about informing them.
On the other hand, you can take specific individuals and their work performance right down to the decimals when you are using graphs. This is why you would often find graphs used in presentations for quarterly financial reports or by scientific studies and surveys.
The graphics are basically meant to educate the audience and let them know exactly what they are dealing with. This is important when trying to bring in more money from investors and the like.

You might think that a very detailed spreadsheet is already enough to make your presentation impressive, but while there is certainly value to well-filled rows and columns, they are often not enough. To really impress upon your audience just how awesome you are doing, you need graphs.
A lot of this has to do with the tendency of the human brain to zone out whenever numbers start hitting several digits, especially when there are decimals involved. Having to focus on all those cells with designated figures can be quite taxing on the mind.
Your audience would need to concentrate really hard in order to understand exactly what it is they are looking at.
On the other hand, if you have graphs, the impact is different. Seeing all of those bars just zipping sideways or upwards has a much different effect compared to mere numbers and letters. Even if the differences between the given figures are not that huge, just the presence of the graph automatically makes your presentation seem more credible.
While this may seem a little questionable, there is also the matter of visual trickery in the inclusion of graphs. Simply put, it takes a longer time for the implications of particular figures to really sink in if they are presented as graphs. Numbers are serious and grating, while graphs have more gravitas and mystique.

You might think that since you are dealing with graphs here, why not just use other types of spreadsheets for your troubles? Why would you use Google Sheets specifically for this task? Well, there are a lot of advantages that come with using this particular option.
To start with, you can access it from practically any device in any location in the world as long as there is an internet connection. You won’t necessarily need to bring your own device, either, since you can just borrow from someone else. Of course, it is always advisable for you to bring your own gadget, but it’s always nice to have options.
Then there is the matter of being able to share access to the spreadsheet. If this is a collaborative work, then it makes sense that you would want the people you are working with to be able to access the document any time.
This saves you a lot of time and effort because now, they don’t need to ask for permission whenever they have to make changes or do their job. In cases where you divided the responsibilities, this makes the work a lot more efficient.

How to make a graph in google sheets

Create a chart in Google Sheets to call out specific data or provide a unique way to view it. You can easily customize the chart and its appearance.

Sometimes a spreadsheet can contain an enormous amount of data. So when it’s time to analyze that data or share the sheet with someone else, it can be overwhelming. However, a tool like a graph or chart not only displays your data in a unique form but also let you call out certain data for a clearer visual amidst the chaos.

Like Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets offers a handy feature for creating a chart easily. You can choose from several chart types and completely customize the chart for the ideal appearance.

Create a Chart in Google Sheets

If you have data that would fit perfectly into a chart, head to Google Sheets, sign in, and open your spreadsheet. Follow these steps to create the chart.

  1. Select the data for the chart. You can do this by dragging through the cells you want to use.
  2. Click Insert >Chart from the menu.
  3. You’ll immediately see your chart, using a suggested style. And the Chart Editor will open on the right. So you can click the Chart Type drop-down list and pick a different style like a line, area, bar, or pie chart.

How to make a graph in google sheets

Depending on the type of chart you use, the remaining Setup options in the Chart Editor will vary. For instance, if you choose a column, area, or waterfall chart, you can apply Stacking.

Data Range

For all chart types, you can see the Data Range. So if you need to make an adjustment or want to add another range, click the Select Data Range icon.

How to make a graph in google sheets

Axis and Aggregate

You can remove or add labels to the X- or Y-axis by clicking the Options (three dots) icon on the right of that item. If you’d like to Aggregate the data, check that box and then pick average, sum, count, or another option in the drop-down list.

How to make a graph in google sheets


You have options to remove a series or add labels by clicking the three dots to the right of one. Or you can click Add Series at the bottom of the list for additional data.

How to make a graph in google sheets

Other Options

At the bottom of the Chart Editor, you also have the ability to switch rows and columns, use row 1 as chart headers, and use column A as labels. Just check the boxes next to the items you want to apply.

Move or Resize

  • To move your chart to a different spot on your sheet, simply grab it and drag where you want it.
  • To resize your chart, select it and drag from one of the corners or borders.

Customize Your Chart

Once you create your chart and organize the data as you like, you have ways to customize the chart. This lets you apply changes to the appearance like color, style, and gridlines.

If you’ve already closed the Chart Editor, you can reopen it easily. Click the three dots on the top right of the chart and select Edit Chart.

How to make a graph in google sheets

In the Chart Editor, click the Customize tab at the top. You’ll see several options for changing the appearance of your chart, each can be collapsed or expanded. These options vary depending on your chart type.

Chart Style: Change the background color, font, border, and overall look.

Chart & Axis Titles: Add text for the chart title, subtitle, horizontal, or vertical axis titles. Then, choose the font style, size, format, and color for those you use.

Series: Format the axis position and data point and select colors for items in the series.

How to make a graph in google sheets

Legend: Add, remove, and position the legend on the chart. You can also format the font.

Horizontal Axis and Vertical Axis: Adjust the font style, size, format, and color for the selected axis. You also have options to slant the labels on the horizontal axis and choose a scale factor for the vertical axis.

Gridlines and Ticks: Choose the spacing types and counts, add major and minor ticks, and pick the gridline color.

How to make a graph in google sheets

Again, the options in the Customize section of the Chart Editor depend on the chart you use. So if you pick a pie chart, for example, you can add a donut hole and select its size.

Time-Saving Tip: Not sure which section of the Chart Editor you need to access for a particular part of the chart? Make sure the Chart Editor is open and then click the item directly on the chart. This action will display the expanded corresponding area in the Chart Editor to make your edits.

How to make a graph in google sheets

Create a Chart in Google Sheets for Data Visualization

If you want to call attention to particular data or simply view your data in a visually pleasing way, create a chart in Google Sheets. You have complete flexibility with how your chart looks and the data it shows.

Need a little help with charts in Microsoft Excel? Take a look at our walk-through for creating a Gantt chart in Excel. Or check out how to create a pie chart in Excel 2010 if you are running an older version of Office.

After you’ve entered data into Google Sheets, you may want to create a visualization of that information to make it easier to convey. Luckily, Google Sheets makes it easy for you to convert data into a graph or chart.

How to make a graph in google sheets

Google Sheets gives you a variety of options for your graph, so if you want to show parts that make up a whole you can go for a pie chart, and if you want to compare statistics, a bar graph will likely make more sense. Here are our step-by-step instructions for making a graph in Google Sheets.

1. Select cells. If you’re going to make a bar graph like we are here, include a column of names and values and a title to the values.

How to make a graph in google sheets

2. Click Insert.

3. Select Chart.

How to make a graph in google sheets

4. Select a kind of chart. Pie charts are best for when all of the data adds up to 100 percent, and histograms work best for data compared over time.

How to make a graph in google sheets

And automatically, Google Sheet add your graph with the data who you have selected before. Now you can edit your data and your graph will be updated immediately.