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How to make a graph in Google Sheets

Summarize large data sets in visual form.
By
March 1, 2022

Google Sheets is a convenient alternative to Excel, offering many functions in a cloud-based package. However, it can still be a challenge to read and understand large sheets of numerical data. Here’s how to make a graph in Google Sheets to visualize your information.

See also: How to Make a Graph on Google Docs

SHORT ANSWER

To add a chart or graph to Google Sheets, select the cells you want to include in your chart, then click Insert--> Chart.


KEY SECTIONS

How to make a graph in Google Sheets on a computer

Creating a chart in Google Sheets is similar to Excel but uses different buttons. We’ve grabbed our data from IDC, so you can always use that as an example and follow along.

First, highlight the data you want to include in your graph. After all, an empty chart won’t do much for your readers.

graph in google sheets 1
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Next, click Insert–> Chart to find a selection of both charts and graphs.

graph in google sheets 2
Adam Birney / Android Authority

You’ll probably notice that Google Sheets defaults to a stacked column chart. While common, it may not be the right option for everyone, so let’s dig into the Chart Editor on the right to explore customization.

Changing Charts

The first thing to do is select your preferred Chart type from the drop-down menu.

Chart editor
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Google will give recommendations for chart types based on your data input. For example, a pie chart can accurately represent percentage data but doesn’t work to represent multiple time periods. Likewise, a bar chart might work for frequency data, but it would be overly complicated for how much data we have here.

We’ll choose a Line Chart for this example since it will help us illustrate the rise and fall of each manufacturer’s market share by quarter. You can also scroll down to verify that the X-Axis and Series match the information you’ve selected.

customize chart tab
Adam Birney / Android Authority

The last step is to head to the Customize tab. Here, you can tinker with titles and legends and change the color scheme of your chart. You can also click on the chart elements to jump to the specific menu.

How to make a graph in Google Sheets on Android or iOS

First, open a spreadsheet in the Google Sheets mobile app. Then, select the cells you want to include in your chart and tap Insert, represented by the ‘+’ icon.

Insert chart sheets mobile
Adam Birney / Android Authority

From there, scroll down and tap Chart at the bottom of the screen.

Insert chart sheets mobile 2
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Here, you can edit the chart type, titles, and color of your graph. When you’re done, tap the checkmark in the top left.

Chart options mobile
Adam Birney / Android Authority

Now that you know how to make a chart in Google Sheets, it’s time to get out there and practice.

FAQs

How do you make an XY graph in Google Sheets?

First, enter your X and Y data into separate columns in Google Sheets. Then highlight the data and click Insert–> Chart. From there, you can change the chart type to Scatter to make an XY graph.

How do I make a bar graph in Google Sheets?

Select the cell you want to include in your graph, then click Insert–> Chart. You can change the chart type to Bar under the Chart editor.