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Chart and graph types

You can display your data with charts and graphs.

To learn about a chart and how to use it, choose a chart type below.

Line

Line chart

Use a line chart to look at trends within data or data over a time period. Line charts are best when the x-axis has numbers.

line chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter a label to describe the data.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric data and a name (optional) in the first row for each column. 
Combo chart

Use a combo chart to show each data series as a different marker type, like a column, line, or area line.

combo chart

How to format your data

  • Top row of your data set: Enter labels for the X-axis.
  • Column 1: Enter a name for each data series (row).
  • Other cells: Enter the data points you'd like to display.

Area

Area chart

Use an area chart to track one or more data series graphically, like changes in value between categories of data. Area charts are similar to line charts, but have shading below the lines.

area chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter a label to describe the data. For example, you could enter dates or times.
  • Other columns: Enter positive numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.
Stacked area chart
Use a stacked area chart to shows the relationship of the part to the whole. 
stacked area

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter a label to describe the data. For example, you could enter dates or times.
  • Other columns: Enter positive numeric data and a name (optional) for each column. 
100% stacked area chart
Use a 100% stacked area chart to show the relationship of the part to the whole where the cumulative total isn’t important.
100% stacked area chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter a label to describe the data. For example, you could enter dates or times.
  • Other columns: Enter positive numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.
Stepped area chart
Use a stepped area chart to track one or more data series with vertical and horizontal lines, like changes in values between categories of data. Stepped area charts never use diagonal lines.
stepped area chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter a label to describe the data. For example, you could enter dates or times.
  • Other columns: Enter positive numeric data and a name (optional) for each column. 
Stacked stepped area chart
Use a stacked stepped area chart to show the relationship of the part to the whole. A stacked stepped area chart is a stepped area chart that puts related values on top of one another.
stacked stepped area chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter a label to describe the data. For example, you could enter dates or times.
  • Other columns: Enter positive numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.
100% stacked stepped area chart
Use a 100% stacked stepped area chart to show the relationship of the part to the whole where the cumulative total isn’t important.
100% stacked stepped area chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter a label to describe the data. For example, you could enter dates or times.
  • Other columns: Enter positive numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.

Column

Column chart

Use a column chart to show one or more categories, or groups, of data, especially if each category has subcategories. Column heights make it easy to compare data across groups. 

column chart

How to format your data

Each row in your spreadsheet represents a different column in the chart.

  • Column 1: Enter a label or category for each row. For example, this could be countries or other categories of data.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.

Note: To make a 3D chart, in the "Chart editor," click Customize and then Chart style and then check the box next to 3D.

Stacked column chart
Use a stacked column chart to show one or more categories of data and see the relationship of parts to the whole. 
stacked column

How to format your data

In stacked column charts, each category has only one column. This column contains all data for a  label or category, and allows you to see the relationship of parts to the whole.

  • Column 1: Enter a label or category for each row. For example, this could be countries or other categories of data.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.

Note: To make a 3D chart, in the "Chart editor," click Customize and then Chart style and then check the box next to 3D.

100% stacked column chart
Use a 100% stacked column chart to show the relationship of the part to the whole where the cumulative total isn’t important.

100% stacked column chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter a label or category for each row. For example, this could be countries or other categories of data.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric data and a name (optional) for each column. 

Note: To make a 3D chart, in the "Chart editor," click Customize and then Chart style and then check the box next to 3D.

 

Bar

Bar chart

Use a bar chart to show the difference between the data points for one or more category.

bar chart

How to format your data

Each row in your spreadsheet represents a different bar in the chart.

  • Column 1: Enter a label or category for each row.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.

Note: To make a 3D chart, in the "Chart editor," click Customize and then Chart style and then check the box next to 3D.

Stacked bar chart
Use a stacked bar chart to show all data for a label or category in one bar (instead of multiple bars). These charts also show the relationship of parts to the whole. 
stacked bar chart

How to format your data

Each row in your spreadsheet represents a different bar in the chart.

  • Column 1: Enter a label or classification for each row.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.

Note: To make a 3D chart, in the "Chart editor," click Customize and then Chart style and then check the box next to 3D.

100% stacked bar chart
Use a 100% stacked bar chart to show the relationship of the part to the whole where the cumulative total isn’t important.
100% stacked bar chart

How to format your data

Each row in your spreadsheet represents a different bar in the chart.

  • Column 1: Enter a label or classification for each row.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.

Note: To make a 3D chart, in the "Chart editor," click Customize and then Chart style and then check the box next to 3D.

Pie

Pie chart

Use a pie chart (also known as a pie graph) to show data as “slices of pie,” or proportions of a whole.

pie chart

How to format your data

Your data should be in two columns of your spreadsheet.

  • Column 1: Enter a label.
  • Column 2: Enter a numeric value representing that label.

Show labels for pie slices

  1. On the chart menu, click the "Customize" tab.
  2. Under "Slice label," select an option and change the font size or text color:
    • Percentage: Show each slice as a percentage of the total.
    • Value: Show the number associated with each slice (from the right-hand column).
    • Label: Show the name of each slice (from the left-hand column).
    • None:  Slices are blank.

You can also delete the legend and add legend labels to pie slices instead.

  1. Open the chart menu.
  2. Click the "Customize" tab.
  3. Click Legend and then Labeled.
3D Pie chart
Use a 3D pie chart (also known as a pie graph) to show data as “slices of pie,” or proportions of a whole.
pie chart 3D

How to format your data

Your data should be in two columns of your spreadsheet.

  • Column 1: Enter a label.
  • Column 2: Enter a numeric value representing that label.

Show labels for pie slices

  1. On the chart menu, click the "Customize" tab.
  2. Under "Slice label," select an option and change the font size or text color:
    • Percentage: Show each slice as a percentage of the total.
    • Value: Show the number associated with each slice (from the right-hand column).
    • Label: Show the name of each slice (from the left-hand column).
    • None: Slices are blank. 

You can also delete the legend and add legend labels to pie slice instead.

  1. Open the chart menu.
  2. Click the "Customize" tab.
  3. Click Legend and then Labeled.
Donut chart
A donut chart is a type of pie chart with a hole in the center. Use a donut chart to show data as “slices of pie,” or proportions of a whole.
donut chart

How to format your data

Your data should be in two columns of your spreadsheet.

  • Column 1: Enter a label.
  • Column 2: Enter a numeric value representing that label.

Show labels for pie slices

  1. On the chart menu, click the "Customize" tab.
  2. Under "Slice label," select an option and change font size or text color:
    • Percentage: Show each slice as a percentage of the total.
    • Value: Show the number associated with each slice (from the right-hand column).
    • Label: Show the name of each slice (from the left-hand column).
    • None: Slices are blank.

You can also delete the legend and add legend labels to pie slices instead.

  1. Open the chart menu.
  2. Click the "Customize" tab.
  3. Click Legend and then Labeled.

Note: To change the donut hole size, in the “Chart editor,” click Customize and then under “Donut hole,” choose a size.

Scatter

Scatter plot

Use a scatter chart to show numeric coordinates along the horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) axes. The data in your spreadsheet is displayed as a series of points on a graph. You can use scatter charts to look for trends and patterns between two variables. One variable is shown on the X-axis and the other variable on the Y-axis. It’s common to add trendlines with scatter charts. 

scatter plot

How to format your data

Format your data in two or more columns. All columns should contain numeric data.

  • Column 1: Enter the X-values on your chart.
  • Other columns: Enter Y-values. Each column of Y-values will show as a series of points on the chart.
Bubble chart

Use a bubble chart to show data with three dimensions. It's similar to a scatter plot where the first two dimensions are the horizontal (X) and vertical (Y) coordinates, but it adds a 3rd dimension which is represented in the chart as the size of the bubble.

bubble chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter text that will show labels for the series.
  • Column 2: Enter a number that determines where along the horizontal (X) axis the bubble appears.
  • Column 3: Enter a number that determines where along the vertical (Y) axis the bubble appears.
  • Column 4: Enter text that determines the color of the bubble (each word gets a different color).
  • Column 5: Enter a number that determines the size of the bubble (the larger the number, the bigger the bubble).

Geo

Geo chart

Use a geo chart to show a map of a country, continent, or region. The values for each location will be shown with colors.

map chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter location names or region codes.
  • Column 2: Enter numeric values. The values will change how dark the color shows up for each location.

Other

Waterfall chart
Use a waterfall chart to show how later values add or subtract from a starting value.
Waterfall chart

How to format your data

Each row in your spreadsheet represents a different column in the chart.

  • Column 1: Enter a label or category for each row. For example, this could be financial categories (like revenue or costs) or other categories of data (like dates).
  • Other columns: Enter numeric data and a name (optional) for each column.

Create a stacked chart

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Click on the waterfall chart you want to change.
  3. In the “Chart editor,” click Setup.
  4. Under “Stacking,” click the Down arrow Down Arrow, then click Stacked.
Histogram chart

Use a histogram to show the distribution of a data set across different buckets.

histogram

How to format your data

For each column, the values from all rows are grouped into numeric buckets. The histogram displays the number of values in each bucket and each bar shows how many times the value appears, using the height of each bar to represent the count of values. 

  • Column 1: Enter labels for your groups of data. Note: Only one column of data is required.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric values, each representing items in a distribution. 
Organizational chart

Use an organizational chart (also called an org chart) to show the relationship between members of a company, group of people, or family tree.

org chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter all group members.
  • Column 2: Enter the members' hierarchical or higher-level relationship.
  • Column 3: If you want a tip to appear when you point your mouse to each node, enter the text.
Table chart

Use a table chart to turn your spreadsheet table into a chart that can be sorted and paged. Table charts are often used to create a dashboard in Google Sheets or embed a chart in a website.


When viewing the table, you can select single rows with either the keyboard or the mouse, and you can sort individual columns by clicking on column headers. If your table is large, the header row doesn’t change as you scroll.

table chart

How to format your data

  • The data format is flexible and customizable, but the data within each column must be consistent.
  • A column’s data should be formatted in the same way. If you mix-and-match data formats within a column, the table won’t show up properly.
Annotated timeline

Use an annotated timeline to show an interactive time series line chart with the option to add notes. You can display one or more lines on the chart.

timeline chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1:  Enter the date (optional to include the time of day).
  • Other columns: Enter numeric values, titles, and notes. The values in the numeric column are represented in the vertical (Y) axis for the corresponding time in the first column.
    • Each numeric column can be followed by one or two optional columns containing text.
    • The text in the first column (following a numeric column) serves as the note titles, and the second column with text is the note.
Sparklines

Use a sparkline to show and compare one or more categories of data, like a time period. It's similar to a line chart, but displays data lines on separate axes stacked on top of each other.

To learn more about the SPARKLINE function, visit our function help.

sparkline

How to format your data

  • Each column of the spreadsheet should contain numeric data. There's no limit to the number of columns that can be displayed.
  • To track your data more easily, label each column in the spreadsheet. 
Motion chart

Note: You won’t be able to edit or insert anything into this chart after August 2017. This chart will be removed from Google Sheets in December 2017.

Use a motion chart to show information about several indicators over time. Based on the data in your spreadsheet, you'll be able to mix-and-match data categories and create a variety of motion graphics within a single chart.

motion chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter the entity names that you want to track.
  • Column 2: Enter date values, either in year, month/day/year, week number, or quarter format.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric or text data. Text data, for example, could be an indicator of the weather for a given day -- "cloudy", "raining", or "clear" -- or the name of the current CEO for corporate data. Columns that display numeric data will be available in the X, Y, Color and Size axes, while columns containing text will only appear in the drop-down menu for Color.
Tree map

Use a tree map to show a data tree, where objects are organized into parent-child hierarchies.

tree map

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter the name of an object in your hierarchy.
  • Column 2: Enter the name of the object's parent. Each parent name must also appear in the first column.
  • Column 3: Enter a positive numerical value of the object and controls the size of the box. This column might be empty for entities with children entities, since the value for a parent entity is calculated by aggregating the values of the children.
  • Column 4 (optional): Enter a numerical value for the color of the box. The values in the fourth column aren’t aggregated and can be negative.

Change colors or number of levels

After you add a tree map chart to your spreadsheet, you can customize it to:

  • Modify the color that appears on your map.
  • Select the number of levels that you want to display on your chart.
Gauges

Use a gauges to show numeric values or measurements within a range. Each value produces a gauge, so you can compare and contrast measurements.

gauge chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1: Enter the gauge label in one column.
  • Column 2: Enter their respective numeric values.
Candlestick chart

Use a candlestick chart to show an opening and closing value overlaid on a total variance, like changes in stock value. Items where the opening value is less than the closing value (a gain) are shown as filled boxes, and items where the opening value is more than the closing value (a loss) are shown as empty boxes.

candlestick chart

How to format your data

Each row describes a single candlestick marker.

  • Column 1: Enter a label for the horizontal (X) axis.
  • Column 2: Enter a number for the low/minimum value. This is the base of the candle's center line.
  • Column 3: Enter a number for the opening or initial value. This is one vertical border of the candle. If this value is less than Column 4, the candle will be filled; otherwise, it will be hollow.
  • Column 4: Enter a number for the closing/final value. This is the second vertical border of the candle. If this value is less than the column 3, the candle will be hollow; otherwise, it will be filled.
  • Column 5: Enter a number for the high/maximum value. This is the top of the candle's center line.
Radar chart

Use a radar chart to show one or more variables in a two-dimensional graph, with one spoke for each variable. A line connects all of the data points from your spreadsheet along each spoke.

radar chart

How to format your data

  • Column 1 (optional): Enter qualitative data that will replace the ‘degree’ labels along the outer circle.
  • Other columns: Enter numeric data that will serve as the data points along each spoke.

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

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