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This article is about Looker Studio. For Looker documentation, visit https://cloud.google.com/looker/docs/intro.

Area chart reference

How to use and configure area charts.

An area chart is a variation on the line or time series chart. It uses shaded areas under the plotted lines on the graph to indicate the volume of data that is represented by the lines. Like a time series, area charts are useful for seeing how your data trends over time.

In this article:

Area charts in Looker Studio

Area charts let you visualize a single dimension (the breakdown dimension) and a single metric, plotted over time.

Area chart example

The following example displays two area charts. Both charts show sales data from a fictional pet store. The first chart shows sales of items by category (contained in a Product Category dimension). The Product Category dimension has three values: Bird, Dog, and Cat.

The second chart shows sales of individual products (contained in an Item dimension).

The metric In both charts is quantity sold (called Qty Sold in the data source).

These examples show two different styles of area chart. The first one is stacked: the series values appear in layers, building one on top of the other. The second is unstacked: each series starts at the same baseline.

A stacked area chart displays stacked lines and shading, and an unstacked area chart displays overlapping lines and shading.

Other types of area charts

In addition to the basic area chart, you can select from the Stacked area chart or 100% stacked area chart preset chart types when you add an area chart from the toolbar.

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

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.

100% stacked area chart

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.

Dimension 

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

This option appears on charts that support it.

Drilling down gives viewers a way to reveal additional levels of detail within a chart. When you turn on the Drill down  optioneach dimension that you add becomes another level of detail that you can drill into. Learn more about chart drill down.

Breakdown dimension

This option displays the metric data broken down according to the selected dimension. For example, a chart that shows annual sales data could be broken down by a Sales Region dimension to show sales by region or by an Employee ID dimension to show sales by sales associate.

Metric

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.

You can display a single metric in an area chart.

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.

 

Set the default sort

The Sort and Breakdown dimension sort options in the chart's setup panel control the default sorting behavior. You can select any metric in the chart's data source, or any dimension that is currently displayed in the chart, to use as the primary or secondary sorting field.

The Breakdown dimension sort option only appears when a breakdown dimension is set.
When you specify a metric as a sort field, you can edit the field's aggregation. For example, you could include a numeric field in the chart as a SUM, but sort on that same field's AVERAGE value.

Default date range

The Default date range property lets you set a timeframe for an individual chart.

Default date range options

Auto Uses the default date range, which is determined by the chart's data source.
Custom Lets you use the calendar widget to select a custom date range for the chart.
Date compare type Displays comparison data for the selected time period.

Learn more about working with dates and time. 

Filter

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.

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.

Chart interactions

When the Cross-filtering option is enabled on a chart, that chart acts like a filter control. You can filter the report by clicking or brushing your mouse across the chart. Learn more about cross-filtering.

The Zoom option lets you zoom into a chart and pan on that chart to view all the data that is present. Learn more about zooming and panning on Cartesian charts.

The Zoom option is not available when the Cross-filtering option is enabled.

Stylize the chart

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

Title

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.
Center

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.

Area Chart

This section controls the overall appearance and layout of your chart.

Show Stack Stacks the data series.
100% Stacking When this option is selected, stacked charts show the contribution of each data series to 100% of the total value.
Show Cumulative When checked, data series are summed over time. Otherwise, the data is shown with no additional aggregation.
Show points Displays individual data points. Viewers can mouse over a data point to display its value.
Show data labels Displays individual values for the data points in the series. Selecting this option also reveals the Data label section, where you can control the presentation of the labels on the chart.

Data label

If you select the Show data labels checkbox in the Area Chart section, you can configure the following options.

Compact Numbers

Rounds numbers and displays the unit indicator. For example, 553,939 becomes 553.9K.

Decimal Precision Sets the number of decimal places in metric values.
Labels font size Sets the font size for the label text.
Labels font color Sets the font color for the label text.
Labels font family Sets the font type of the label text.
Font styling options Applies bold or italic styling to the label text.
Labels background Sets a background color for the label text.
Labels opacity

For labels with a custom background color, this setting adjusts the opacity of the background for the label text. 100% opacity makes the background solid, and 0% opacity makes the background fully transparent.

Labels border radius For labels with a custom background color, this setting adds rounded borders to the chart background. Choose a value from 0px (90° corners) to 20px (maximum rounding).

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.

Reference lines are not available for 100% stacked area charts.

Number of Series

Determines the number of breakdown dimension series that are displayed on the chart. This setting is available when you have set a value for Breakdown Dimension. Select a number of series to display from the drop-down menu. The series that are displayed are based on the Breakdown dimension sort specifications. 

Group Others

Select the Group Others checkbox to aggregate the results that are outside of the specified Number of Series limit into a series that will have the label OthersThis checkbox lets you compare other series against the context of the remaining results. 

When Group Others is not enabled, depending on the chart's configuration, the chart may not display all the data.

Color by

This section controls how your data is colored. Learn more about coloring your data

These options appear when you have a secondary (breakdown) dimension in your chart.

Single Color
When this option is selected, the data series is displayed in shades of a single color. Otherwise, the chart displays in multiple colors, according to your report theme).

You can set specific colors by using each data series' color picker.

Series order

Use the current theme to color the data according to its position in the chart. This option emphasizes the ranking of the data over the identity of the data.

You can set specific colors by using each data series' color picker.

Dimension values

This option colors each dimension value in the chart with the color that is specified in the dimension value color map. This option ensures that your data uses color consistently, regardless of the position of that data in the chart.

Missing data

This option appears when your time dimension is missing data. Looker Studio offers 3 ways of dealing with this situation.

Note: this option has no effect on bar series. The Line to Zero option will affect a trendline, however.

Line to Zero When you select this option, a line series will drop to zero for the missing dates. This is the default option.
Line Breaks When this option is selected, missing data appears as breaks in the data series.
Linear Interpolation When this option is selected, Looker Studio will continue the series by connecting the data points on either side of the missing data.

Zoom

After you enable the Zoom option for a chart on the Setup tab of the Properties panel, you can select one of the following options:

  • Click and drag to zoom: Zoom by clicking and dragging to select a portion of the visualization to magnify.
  • Scroll to zoom: Zoom by scrolling with your mouse.

Optionally, select the Pan/Zoom X-axis only checkbox to allow zooming and panning only along the X-axis.

Axes

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.

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.

X-axis

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

Axis options

Show axis title Shows or hides the axis labels. 
Custom tick interval Controls the interval between axis ticks.
Range Sets the range of the X-axis.

Grid

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.
Chart background Sets the color of the chart background.
Chart border color Sets the color of the inner chart border.

Legend

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.
None

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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