Insert a chart in a spreadsheet

Here's a quick overview of charts in Google spreadsheets. You can find a list of chart types, advanced customization options, and information on recommended charts based on your selection of data.

Creating and editing a chart

You can easily create, edit, preview and customize your chart. Enter data into your spreadsheet, and select that range of cells. Then, select Insert > Chart from the toolbar menu to get started.

Once you’ve selected the data you’d like to display in a chart and selected Insert > Chart, you can begin editing, previewing and customizing your chart. In the Start tab of the charts dialog box, you can edit the data range you’d like to display in your chart and preview recommended chart types. Chart types are recommended based on your selected data range. In this tab, you can also swap rows with columns and mark the first column and/or row as labels for the created chart.

Start Chart Dialog

In the Charts tab you can browse through all of the chart types to preview your data visualized in various ways.

chart tab

If your data format doesn’t match the required data format for a particular chart type, you’ll see the message, “The required data format for the doesn’t match the current data,” in the preview box with suggestions on how to properly format your data.

chart preview

Last, but certainly not least, you can customize your chart in the Customize tab. In this tab, you can name your chart and its axes, select your layout and customize the colors that represent your data. Like both of the other tabs in the charts dialog box, you’ll be able to preview your chart before saving the changes. You can find more details about how to customize a chart.

Do I need to upgrade my old chart?

If you have existing charts in your spreadsheet, you may be asking: “What is going to happen to my charts? Do I have to upgrade them? Will my data be safe if I upgrade?”

Much like when we transitioned from the old version of Google spreadsheets to the new version, your data will remain safe and intact if you upgrade your charts to the new version. In order to be able to edit your charts, you will need to upgrade them -- if you don’t, existing charts will remain in a view-only state. Upgrading your charts will also give you access to more chart types and customization options. Learn how to upgrade your old charts.

Chart types

You can insert a variety of chart types into a Google spreadsheet to show off your data in cool ways! You can create maps, gauges, organizational charts, motion charts, and others directly from the charts dialog box.

Explore chart types to learn about how your data should be formatted and see examples of all of the different charts.

Mary is a Docs & Drive expert and author of this help page. Leave her feedback below about the page.

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