Area charts

Use an area chart to find trends in data over time. Area charts are like line charts, but shade below the lines to help show the magnitude of trends.

Learn how to add & edit a chart.

Area chart

How to format your data

  • First column: Enter a label to describe the data. Labels from the first column show up on the horizontal axis.
  • First row (Optional): In the first row of each column, enter a category name. Entries in the first row show up as labels in the legend.
  • Other columns: For each column, enter numeric data. You can also add a category name (optional).
  • Other cells: Enter the data points you’d like to display.
  • Rows: Each row represents a different line in the chart.

Tip: If the chart doesn’t show the data on the axis you want, learn how to switch rows and columns.

Examples

Revenue & expenses
Month Revenue Expenses
January $20,000 $14,000
February $24,000 $18,000
March $32,000 $15,500

 

Area chart showing monthly revenue and expenses

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Imports & exports
Month Imports Exports
January $20,000,000 $10,000,000
February $15,000,000 $20,000,000
March $25,000,000 $25,000,000

 

Area chart showing imports and exports

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Other types of area charts

Stacked area chart

Use a stacked area chart to show part-to-whole relationships and find trends in data over time. For example, show how 3 products contributed to total sales each month or quarter.

Stacked area chart

Learn how to add & edit a chart.

How to format your data

Example

Total students

Year Elementary Middle School High school
2015 8,000 10,000 12,000
2016 9,000 11,000 11,000
2017 10,000 12,000 13,000
2018 10,000 13,000 14,000

 

Stacked area chart of total high school, middle school, and elementary students

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100% stacked area chart

Use a 100% stacked area chart to show part-to-whole relationships and find trends in data over time, when the cumulative total isn’t important.

Learn how to add & edit a chart.

100% stacked area chart

How to format your data

Example

Monthly budget

Month Gas Rent Food Utilities
January 100 $600 $300 $500.00
February 150 $600 $250 $700.00
March 100 $600 $450 $400.00

 

100% stacked area chart of monthly expenses

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Stepped area chart

Use a stepped area chart to highlight differences and emphasize change. For example, compare projected and actual total monthly web visitors.

Learn how to add & edit a chart.

Stepped area chart

How to format your data

Example

Monthly expenses

Month Expenses
January $100,000
February $120,000
March $110,000
April $120,000
May $125,000
June $60,000
July $50,000
August $70,000
September $100,000
October $120,000
November $145,000
December $90,000

 

Stepped area chart of monthly expenses

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100% stepped area chart

Use a 100% stepped area chart to highlight differences and emphasize change, when the cumulative total isn’t important.

Learn how to add & edit a chart.

How to format your data

Example

Semester grades

Grades Junior Senior
A 18 30
B 28 35
C 35 32
D 21 23
F 10 12

 

Stacked stepped area chart of semester grades

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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.

Learn how to add & edit a chart.

100% stacked stepped area chart

How to format your data

Example

Quarterly enrollment

Quarter English 101 Math 101 History 101
Winter 200 300 500
Spring 400 200 400
Summer 100 300 100
Fall 300 400 300

 

100% stacked stepped area chart of quarterly student enrollment

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Customize an area chart

  1. On your computer, open a spreadsheet in Google Sheets.
  2. Double-click the chart you want to change.
  3. At the right, click Customize.
  4. Choose an option:

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