Create a chart or diagram in Google Sheets

Charts and graphs are great tools for presenting data in an attractive visual format. This makes it easy to see data at a glance, allowing you to quickly spot patterns or anomalies.

With the chart options available in Google Sheets, you can create a line, bar, column, pie, or other type of chart in minutes. Then customize the chart to your liking with colors, a legend, gridlines, and more.

Here’s how to create and customize a chart in Google Sheets.

Create a chart in Google Sheets

Creating a chart in Google Sheets starts with the data. Although you can add data to a chart after you create one, it’s best to start with at least one data set.

Depending on the data you select for your chart, Sheets recommends the chart it thinks best fits your data. But you are free to choose the type of chart you like.

Step 1: Select your data by dragging your cursor through a range of cells or by clicking column and row headings.

Step 2: Open the Insert menu and choose Graphic

The Chart option is selected in the Insert Google Sheets menu.

Step 3: You will immediately see a standard chart appear on your worksheet. This is the one that suggests Spreadsheets for you. You can keep the chart or choose a different one from the Chart Editor sidebar that appears with the chart.

Default chart inserted into Google Sheets.

Step 4: To choose a different chart, select the Setup tab in the sidebar. Click on the at the top Chart type drop-down list.

You’ll see more suggested charts at the top and all other types below. Choose a chart to use, and the default chart on the sheet will be updated to the new type.

Chart types available in Google Sheets.

Step 5: After you choose the type of chart you want, you can customize the additional options on the Settings tab for the data you want to display.

  • Data range: Adjust the cell range for the chart by adding or removing it.
  • X or Y axis: Depending on your chart type, you can display, remove, or add labels to the x or y axis. You can also check the box to aggregate the data.
  • Series: As with adjusting the axis, you can do the same with the Series. Delete the series, add labels or add another series.
  • Added options: At the bottom of the sidebar, you’ll see even more options for your chart. Check the boxes to switch rows and columns, use the first row as headings, or use the first column as labels. Again, these options vary based on the type of chart you choose.
Set up Chart Editor tab in Google Sheets.

Customize a chart in Google Sheets

After inserting your chart and selecting its settings settings, you can customize several of its elements in the Chart Editor sidebar.

Once you’ve closed the sidebar, reopen it by pressing the three dots in the top right corner of the chart and choose Edit chart

Step 1: Select the To adjust tab at the top of the sidebar. You will see different elements in expandable sections. Simply expand a section to work with that part of the chart.

Chart editor Customize tab in Google Sheets.

Step 2: Each section you see depends on the chart type you’re using. For example, if you have a bar chart, you will also see options for the horizontal and vertical axes, and if you are using a pie chart, you can adjust the pie slice.

Step 3: While each type of chart in Google Sheets has its own elements, here are a few available for different chart types that may interest you.

  • chart style: Expand the Chart Style section to choose a background color, font, border color, or make the chart 3D.
  • Chart and Axis Titles: Expand this section to add a subtitle and adjust the font for both the chart title and the subtitle.
  • Legend: Expand Legend to choose a position or change the font style, size, format, and color.
Chart style expanded in the Chart Editor.

Step 4: When you’re done editing the chart, click the X in the top right corner to close the Chart Editor sidebar.

Chart actions in Google Sheets.

Move, resize, edit, or delete a chart

You can move your chart anywhere on your sheet. Simply select it and drag it to its new position.

To resize your chart, drag from a corner or edge, in or out.

Click for extra promotions on the three dots top right of the graph. You can open the sidebar again with Edit chart or delete it with Delete chart† You will also see options to download, publish, copy, or move the diagram to a new sheet.

Creating a chart in Google Sheets is easy, and the customization options available allow you to give it exactly the look you want.

Editor’s Recommendations

Leave a Comment