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Boxplot chart reference

How to configure boxplot charts.

 Boxplot charts help you visualize the distribution and spread of values in your dataset. Boxplot charts can be especially useful for comparing values across categories.

In this article:

Boxplot charts in Looker Studio

Boxplot charts display the distribution of your data, including the upper and lower bounds that exclude outliers, the median, and the first and third quartile marks. Boxplot charts can be used to display statistical variations in a dataset, and help you identify outliers. To create a boxplot chart, you need your data to be separated into quartiles, or quarters.

The box portion of the chart represents the values between the first and third quartiles, where 50% of your data is contained. The "whisker" portions of the chart, which are the lines that extend vertically from the top and bottom of the box and end at the maximum and minimum values in your data, represent the remaining 50% of values. A horizontal line through the box represents the median value. 

 Boxplot chart example

The following boxplot chart displays yearly trends in the number of mobile subscription users for the years 2005 through 2014.

 A boxplot chart displays mobile subscription trends by year.

You can hover your cursor over the elements in a boxplot chart to access a tooltip that displays more details about the data.


Traditional boxplot charts require five metrics:

  • A minimum value — This value is represented as the lowest tip of the bottom whisker.
  • A 25th percentile value — This value is represented as the bottom of the box. 
  • A median value — This value is represented as the horizontal line inside the box.
  • 75th percentile value — This value is represented as the top of the box.
  • maximum value — This value is represented as the highest tip of the top whisker.

If your data is not already naturally divided into quartiles, or quarters, you can create calculated fields that use the MIN, MAX, MEDIAN, and PERCENTILE functions. See the Function list page for more information regarding how to use these functions in an expression.

These metrics must be arranged in order of minimum value, 25th percentile value, median value, 75th percentile value, and maximum value  in the Metric section in the Setup tab in the Properties panel. 

Configure the chart

Add a new chart or select an existing chart. Then, on the right, use the Properties panel to configure the chart's Setup and Style tab properties.

Set up the chart data

The options in the Setup tab of the Properties panel determine how the chart's data is organized and displayed.

Data source

A data source provides the connection between the component and the underlying dataset. 

  • To change the chart's data source, click the current data source name.
  • To view or edit the data source, click Edit. (You must have at least Viewer permission to see this icon.)
  • Click +BLEND DATA to see data from multiple data sources in the same chart. Learn more about data blending.

Date range dimension

This option appears if your data source has a valid date dimension.

Note: This option does not appear for Google Ads or Google Analytics data sources, as these automatically select a dimension of type Date from the data source.

The Date range dimension is used as the basis for limiting the date range of the chart. For example, this is the dimension that is used if you set a date range property for the chart or if a viewer of the report uses a date range control to limit the time frame.


Dimensions are data categories. Dimension values (the data that is contained by the dimension) are names, descriptions, or other characteristics of a category.

At least one dimension is required. The first dimension you specify serves as the primary data series in the chart. If you specify a breakdown dimension, the chart is limited to a single metric.

Drill down

Select the Drill down switch to turn on drilling for the chart, and select a drill down field from the Default drill down level drop-down menu.


Metrics measure the things that are contained in dimensions and provide the numeric scale and data series for the chart.

Metrics are aggregations that come from the underlying data set or that are the result of implicitly or explicitly applying an aggregation function, such as COUNT(), SUM(), or AVG(). The metric itself has no defined set of values, so you can’t group by a metric as you can with a dimension.

Learn more about aggregation.

Five metrics are required for a boxplot chart. See the Requirements section on this page for more details. 

Optional metrics

You can add optional metrics by selecting the Optional metrics switch and selecting metrics from the Add metric field selector. You can also drag and drop metrics from the fields list on the Data panel to the Optional metrics selector.

Metric sliders

Turn on the Metric sliders switch to add a metric slider to your boxplot chart.


Select a field that will sort your boxplot chart results. The default sort order will be by the first dimension unless otherwise specified.

Select either the Ascending or the Descending option, as desired.


Filters restrict the data that is displayed in the component by including or excluding the values that you specify. Learn more about the filter property.

Filter options

Filter name Click an existing filter to edit it. Mouse over the filter name and click X to delete it.
+Add a filter Click this option to create a new filter for the chart.


Chart interactions

Use the Chart interactions section to turn on settings that let users interact with charts. The settings include the following: 

  • Cross-filtering — Lets you interact with one chart and apply that interaction as a filter to other charts in the report. When cross-filtering is turned on for a chart, you can filter the report by interacting with that chart in several ways:
    • Clicking one or more dimension values in the chart
    • Dragging, or "brushing," your mouse across a time series, a line chart, or an area chart
  • Change sorting — Lets you change the way data is sorted in the chart.
  • Zoom — Lets you zoom and pan to view sections of data across the chart.

Google Analytics segment

This option appears for charts based on a Universal Analytics data source.

A segment is a subset of your Analytics data. You can apply segments to your Looker Studio charts to help ensure that your Looker Studio and Google Analytics reports show the same data. Learn more about Analytics segments in Looker Studio.

Style the chart

The options in the Style tab control the overall presentation and appearance of the chart.


If you select the Show title checkbox, you can add a title and customize its appearance and placement on the chart.

Title options

Title Provides a text field where report editors can enter a custom title for the chart.

Title font type

Sets the font type for the title text.

Title font size Sets the font size for the title text.
Font styling options Applies bold, italic, or underline styling to the title text.
Title font color Sets the font color for the title text.
Left Aligns the chart title to the left side of the chart.

Centers the chart title above or below the chart.

Right Aligns the chart title to the right side of the chart.
Top Positions the chart title at the top of the chart.
Bottom Positions the chart title at the bottom of the chart.


This section repeats for each metric that is displayed in the chart. The order of sections matches the order of the metrics that are listed in the DATA tab.

Series color — Select the Series color icon to select an outline color for the box portion and whiskers of the chart.

Series fill color — Select the Series fill color icon to select a fill color for the box portion of the chart. 

Reference lines

Add a reference line or a reference band to your chart by selecting the Add a reference line or Add a reference band option.

For more information about reference lines and reference bands, visit the Add reference lines and reference bands to charts page.

Chart spacing

This option lets you customize the spacing between the boxes in a boxplot chart.

Use the Bar width slider to specify a custom width for each individual box, and use the Group bar width slider to specify a custom bar width for each group of boxes.

Number of points

This option lets you limit the number of data points displayed on the boxplot chart. Input a number into the text box to limit the number of data points displayed. 

For example, if you input the number 3, only three boxes will appear on a chart.


These options control the display of the chart axes titles and scales. A right Y-axis section appears when you have more than one metric in your chart.

Axis options

Show axes Shows or hides the chart axes.
Reverse Y-Axis direction Controls the vertical display of the Y-axis.
Reverse X-Axis direction Controls the horizontal display of the X-axis.
Align both axes to 0 Makes both left and right axes start at 0. Available for Cartesian line, bar, and combo charts that have left and right Y-axes.

Left Y-axis

These options control the display of the chart's left Y-axis. A right Y-axis section appears when you have more than one metric in your chart.

Axis options

Show axis title Shows or hides the axis labels. 
Axis min and max Sets minimum and maximum values for the axis.
Custom tick interval Controls the interval between axis ticks.
Log scale Makes the axis scale logarithmic.


These options control the display of the chart's X-axis.

Axis options

Show axis title Shows or hides the axis labels. 


These options control the look of the chart grid.

Axis color Sets the color of the axis line(s).
Grid color Sets the color of the grid lines.
Font family Sets the font type of the grid line text.
Axis font size Sets the font size of the grid line text.
Label font size Sets the font size of the grid line label text.
Chart background Sets the color of the chart background.
Chart border color Sets the color of the inner chart border.


These options determine the placement of the chart legend.

Legend font color Sets the color of the legend font.
Font size Sets the size of the legend font.
Font family Sets the font type of the legend font.

No legend appears.

Right Legend appears on the right.
Bottom Legend appears on the bottom.
Top Legend appears on the top.
Alignment Sets the alignment of the legend relative to the selected position. 
Max lines

Sets the number of lines used by the legend. If the number of series requires more lines, overflow items can be displayed by clicking the < and > arrows.

Note that this setting only applies when the legend is set to Top. This setting has no effect if the legend is set to Right or Bottom.

Background and border

These options control the appearance of the chart background container.

Background Sets the chart background color.
Border Radius Adds rounded borders to the chart background. When the radius is 0, the background shape has 90° corners. A border radius of 100° produces a circular shape.
Opacity Sets the chart opacity. 100% opacity completely hides objects behind the chart. 0% opacity makes the chart invisible.
Border Color Sets the chart border color.
Border Weight Sets the chart border line thickness.
Border Style Sets the chart border line style.
Add border shadow Adds a shadow to the chart's lower and right borders.

Chart header

The chart header lets viewers perform various actions on the chart, such as exporting the data, drilling up or down, or sorting the chart. Chart header options are as follows:

Show on hover (default) Three vertical dots appear when you mouse over the chart header. Click these to access the header options.
Always show The header options always appear.
Do not show The header options never appear. Note that report viewers can always access the options by right-clicking the chart.
Color Sets the color of the chart header options.

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