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

Line chart and combo chart reference

Plot your data using lines and bars.

Line charts are useful when you want to see how your data changes or fluctuates, either over time or when it's measured against a non-time dimension. Line charts can display your data series as a line chart, a bar chart, or a combo chart, which contains both lines and bars.

Line charts can plot a single dimension with up to five metrics or two dimensions with a single metric.

In this article:

Line charts in Looker Studio

Line charts and time series are similar in appearance but differ from each other in the following ways:

  • You can use any type of dimension as the X-axis in a line chart. Time series only allow a Date or Date & Time dimension as the X-axis.

  • Line charts based on Date or Date & Time dimensions will display gaps in the X-axis if those fields are missing data for the selected date range. By comparison, Time series provide a continuous X-axis of dates and give you options on how to handle missing data.
  • You can limit the number of data points that are displayed by the line chart. Time series show all the data for the specified date range.
  • Line charts don't display trend lines. Time series do.

Line chart examples

You are launching a series of mobile apps and want to visualize the Downloads and 7-Day Active metrics for the different product versions. Your data might look something like the following table:

Product Days Since Launch Downloads 7-Day Active
MyApp 2.0 1 1000 0
MyApp 2.0 2 1330 0
MyApp 2.0 3 1800 0
MyApp 2.0 4 3600 0
MyApp 2.0 5 3501 0
MyApp 2.0 6 3700 898
MyApp 2.0 7 3333 1194
MyApp 2.1 8 3000 1381
MyApp 2.1 9 3200 1515

The following illustration shows a data source that is based on this data:

The Edit Connection panel displays the fields Days Since Launch, Downloads, 7-Day Active, and Product along with the associated field types.

The following line charts show two ways you could visualize this data. Both charts use Days Since Launch  as the primary X-axis dimension. The first chart shows the Downloads metric broken down by the Product dimension. The second chart shows both the Downloads and the 7-Day Active  metrics. The second chart variation  could plot up to five metrics.

One line chart displays the Downloads metric line broken up by different Products dimension values, and another line chart displays the Downloads metric as a line and the 7-Day Active metric as columns.

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 that 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.

At least one metric is required. For charts with a single dimension, you can have up to 20 metrics. For charts with two dimensions, you can have one metric.

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 Secondary 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 Secondary sort option only appears when there is an appropriate combination of dimensions and metrics in the chart.
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.
The Change sorting option lets users change the sort order on a chart.

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.

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.

Bar border color

This option lets you change the outline color for the bars in the chart. You can also specify a bar border color for all the bar charts in your report from the Layout tab of the Themes menu.

Series

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.

Line or Bars Displays the data points for this series as a line or bar.
Line weight Determines the thickness of the series line.
Line style Determines the style and appearance of the series line.
Series color Sets the color for the series line or bar, when Series order option is selected in the Color by section.
Cumulative When this option is selected, data for this series is summed over time. Otherwise, the data is shown with no additional aggregation.
Show points Displays individual data points on a line series. Viewers can mouse over a data point to display its value.
Stepped lines Displays a line with a series of steps between data points instead of a smooth line that connects the data points.
Show data labels Displays individual values on 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, 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.

General

Smooth Display series lines as curves.
Stacked bars Display bars as stacked bars.

Data label

This section controls the presentation of data labels for bars. Turn on Show data labels to see these options.

Bar label type

This option is available only for stacked bars. The Bar label type drop-down menu includes the following options:

  • Metric value (default): Shows a metric value for each segment of the bar.      
  • Stacked: Shows the total stack value for each bar, along with the running SUM from the values for each segment of the bar.
Bar label position Sets the position of labels relative to the bar or column.

Chart spacing

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

For stacked bar charts, use the Group bar width slider to specify a custom bar width for between 0% and 100%. 

For unstacked multiple bar charts, use the Bar width slider to specify a custom width for each individual bar, and use the Group bar with slider to specify a custom bar width for each group of bars.

Number of points

This option lets you limit the number of data points displayed on the line 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.

Number of Series

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

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.

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.
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.

X-axis

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

Axis options

Show axis title Shows or hides the axis labels. 

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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