How to Make a Chart in Google Sheets: Easiest Method Explained Here

Cem Ruso
Cem Ruso
January 18, 2023
January 18, 2023

Reports suggest that there are ~2 billion Google Sheets users in the world. 🤯

Before the advent of technology, Google Sheets were extensively used by businesses to visualize hefty datasets and make sense out of it.

To date, Gsheets still hold its ground and is a popular choice among marketers to perform data visualizations.

But how do you make a chart in Google Sheets and visualize your data the easy way? 🤔

Well! This is the perfect place and time to learn it 💪🏻

In this article, we’ll help you learn how to make a chart in Google Sheets, and uncover a more robust tool that can help you perform data visualizations within minutes.

But before we get started, let’s understand what are the types of charts you can use to visualize data in Google Sheets.

Here’s a TL;DR, if you’re in a hurry:

  • 7 types of chart options Google Sheets has for users.
  • Creating a chart on Google Sheets is a 4-step process, but has a lot of manual work to be done.
  • When you decide to create a chart in Google Sheets, you might face some drawbacks like, difficulty in creating a chart via its mobile app, might get slow over time, has limited customization options, and limited data import option.
  • Instead of creating charts in Google Sheets, use a dashboard software like Datapad to do it as it's fast, mobile-friendly, comes with team-collaboration feature, and has multiple data sources to import data from.

What are the Types of Charts You Can Create in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets offers a gallery of various chart types for data visualization. Below we have curated a detailed list of all the available chart styles and types and also laid emphasis on how to use chart in Google sheets in the best possible way.

#1. Line Chart

Line charts in google sheets are typically used to show changes in trends over time. These chart types are created by plotting several points on the chart and then connecting dots via singular lines.

Best Use Case of Line Chart

Ideal for showing trends in sales or profit margin over a month, quarter, or year. For example, annual home loans, monthly subscription revenue, etc.

#2. Combo Chart

As the name suggests, a combo or combination chart is a mix of line charts and bar graphs used to visualize contrast datasets.This allows users to display different types of data in a single chart, such as a line chart and a column chart, to compare different sets of data more effectively.

Best Use Case of Combo Charts

Combo charts are best to use when you want to highlight each data series with a different marker within the same chart.

For example, a combination chart is an excellent choice if you want to showcase the monthly revenue and % increase in profit margins on the same graph.

#3. Area Chart

Like line charts, area charts help you compare one or more data series graphically. They allow you to determine the change in trends over different data categories.

The difference is that the area chart uses shades below the line to showcase the magnitude of trends.

Best Use Case of Area Chart

It's best used to showcase data that depict a time-series relationship, for example:

  • Compare revenue and expenses over time
  • Compare the volume of imports and exports every month

#4. Column Chart

A column chart helps you display different categories or groups of data using rectangular or vertical bar charts. Moreover, it helps you easily compare values of different data series over time.

Google Sheets provide two types of column charts

  • Stacked column chart: To showcase a part-to-whole relationship
  • 100% Stacked column chart: To show relationships and trends when the cumulative total isn't important

Best Use of Column Charts

Marketers and data analysts widely use column charts to perform comparative analyses. Ideally, a column chart is a good fit for tracking, measuring, and comparing 10-12 datasets at once.

#5. Bar Graph

A bar graph is a graphical representation of data using vertical or horizontal bars or strips to compare the difference between two or more data points or groups.

Best Use Case of Bar Graph

Bar graphs are typically used to compare individual items. Some of its use cases include:

  • Compare ticket sales by location
  • Breakdown of employees by job titles
  • Compare % of website traffic from different sources

#6. Pie Chart

Pie chart is a type of chart in which a full-drawn circle is divided into several slices or portions, each representing a part-to-the-whole.

Best Use of Pie Chart

A pie chart can only be used if the cumulative total of individual slices adds to a meaningful total. Some of its use cases include:

  • Showing percentages of types of customers
  • Percentage of revenue from different products
  • Region-wise sales of a particular product

#7. Scatter Chart

A scatter chart shows numeric coordinates along the horizontal (X-axis) and vertical (Y-axis) axes and helps viewers easily understand the relationship between two variables.

Best Use of Scatter Chart

Scatter charts are best to use when you want to find out how one variable is affecting another. For example:

  • Salary of employees vs. years of experience
  • Ice cream sales vs. temperature
  • Revenue vs. expenses

How to Create a Chart in Google Sheets?

To those who always ask us, “how do I create a chart in Google sheets?”

Peeps, we’ve finally come up with the easiest step-by-step guide on how to make a data chart in Google Sheets.

So without further delay; Let’s dive in 😄

Step #1. Create a Database

To get started, manually enter a dataset you want to visualize. Or, import an existing file containing data. To import data from external sources click File > Import.

For this article, we've created a simple dataset to help you quickly understand how to chart data in Google Sheets.

Here, column A depicts the time series, while column B represents the values corresponding to specific time periods, and C represents the profit each year.

Note: To create a chart, you must have at least two primary columns. The first one has a timeframe, and the second column has the values you want to visualize.You can also have three or more columns for combination chart types.

Step #2. Create a Chart From Your Dataset

Now that we have a dataset, let's learn how to add a chart in Google Sheets.

For initials, select the dataset (columns) you want to present via chart.

To insert chart in Sheets, click on Insert in the menu bar.

A drop-down appears with a list of elements. Click on Chart and that’s it.

Google Spreadsheets automatically presents you with a default chart type to visualize your data as it did for our dataset with a line chart 👇🏻

So, this was how to add a chart in Google sheets. Moving forward, we'll learn how you can change the default chart type and visualize your dataset as you desire.

Step #3. Change the Default Chart Type

We feel this is the best part of creating charts on Sheets. You can instantly change the chart type as per your preference.

To do so, Click on the chart and then click on the Three vertical dots in the top right corner.

Then click on Edit Chart to open Gsheet's in-built Chart Editor on the right sidebar.

Pro Tip: You can also double-click on the chart to open the editor directly.

In the chart editor, click on the Chart Type drop-down to access a gallery of pre-built templates and charts from Sheets.

Here, the first section comprises chart suggestions from Gsheets. You can choose a chart type from there or a completely different one from the gallery. Your call! 🤙🏻

When you have made a choice, simply click on the chart icon, and your existing chart will be replaced with your chosen one in real time.

As an example, we tried representing our dataset using a column graph. So, we scrolled down the gallery and clicked on the Column Chart icon 👇🏻

So this is how to add chart in Google sheets. In the next step, we’ll discuss how you can edit or customize a chart in the app.

Step #4. Custom Format Chart As Per Your Preference

To customize your bar graph, click on the Customize menu in the chart editor.

Here’s what you can do with the customization option:

  • Change data range
  • Change axis labels, axis titles, and sub-headers
  • Include / exclude gridlines
  • Interchange horizontal axis and vertical axis

And that's it!

You now know how to make chart on Google Sheets. However, when you perform the practice in real life, you may encounter certain drawbacks of using Gsheets.

Drawbacks of Creating Charts with Sheets

#1. Not a Mobile Friendly Platform

As part of the superior services provided by Google, we expect Google sheets to stand tall on all grounds. 🏆

However, when it comes to using Gsheets on your mobile devices, you can find it uncomfortable.

You see, creating charts on Gsheets desktop version vs. mobile version can trigger completely different experiences for users.

Although the platform has a dedicated mobile app, users may still find it challenging to create charts on the go. You may ask why?

The Google Sheets mobile app isn't well-optimized to function perfectly on small screen devices.

In fact, within seconds into the app, and you’ll likely encounter one of these:

  • Difficult to scroll through the sheet
  • Half-volley graphs
  • Complications in managing and visualizing data

#2. Might Get Slow When Processing Huge Datasets

Another noticeable drawback of Gsheets is its inability to process heft databases.

Although Gsheets offer 10,000,000 cells to collect and organize data, it won't take you that long to figure out that your application has already slowed down. 🐌

And this becomes problematic for large companies that generally deal with terabytes of user data.

When such companies use Gsheets, they are constantly under threat of data security and integrity.

#3. Limited Number of Customizations

Google Sheets offer a countable number of customization options. Unlike the modern-day chart creation tools, Sheets allows you to perform basic customization to your charts.

On the other hand, Datapad (our tool) provides tons of pre-built charts, tables, graphs, and widgets for hassle-free data visualization (more on this later).

#4. Limited Data Import Options

Sheets offer next to no integration options. This means you can import data in just two ways:

  • By importing another spreadsheet that has data
  • By manually entering the data labels and values

While modern-day dashboard and chart creation tools like Datapad allow you to import data from various data sources and platforms with a click.

You might be wondering what’s the buzz around Datapad. 🐝

Well! See for yourself in the next section. 😉

Create Stunning Charts with Datapad

Datapad is a mobile-friendly dashboarding platform that allows you to create stunning charts and visualize your hefty data in minutes.

Unlike Gsheets, our tool enables you to create, edit and access charts from your handheld devices.

It doesn't matter if you are up skiing in the snowy paths ⛷ or surfing in the waves 🏄🏻‍♂️ – all you need is a reliable network to continue your work on the go.

Here's how you create a chart with Datapad in five simple steps👇🏻

Step 1: Download the Datapad app and signup with your preferred email address

Step 2: Create your personal workspace

Step 3: Choose a title > provide a description > create a dashboard

Step 4: Easily import data using our one-click integrations or enter data manually, whatever you like

Step 5: Invite your teammates or share live charts with a click

Besides, this five step process becomes effortless with our optimized app and several automations.

Here're a few key features of Datapad that our team cherish:

Key Feature #1. Mobile Optimization and Compatibility

As we said earlier, unlike the Gsheets mobile app, it’s not tough to create charts on the Datapad app.

We're sure of it because we tried and tested our tool for compatibility on all known small screen devices. Can you guess the results? 😉

It's pixel-perfect for all known devices. 🎉

Besides, our tool is optimized for lightning speed. Which means:

⌛ No delays in data processing

⚡ No lags when creating charts

👨🏻‍🏫 No glitches when collaborating with your team

Key Feature #2. Ease of Data Import

Datapad allows you to import data both ways - Automatically and Manually.

Let's check out both.

To import data automatically, you can choose from our one-click integrations to popular data sources and marketing platforms.

  • Click on Add metric in the top right corner
  • Click Use a Data Source
  • Choose from our list of Integrations

And done! Here's the feature in action👇🏻

Now, what if you wish to import data manually? No problem, we’d love to be your genie. 🧞

So, to import data manually

  • Click on Add Metric
  • Click on Enter Manually
  • Enter values for your dataset
  • Choose a data visualization

Press Enter, and you are good to go. Here's a demo of the process:

Key Feature #3. Hassle-Free Collaborations

Google sheets has a team collaboration feature, but it's too basic and slows down if there are multiple people tracking charts on it.

Whereas, in Datapad, you can invite your teammates and stakeholders by sending email invites with a click.

Once they're on board, you can communicate with them in real time. How do you do that?

Suppose a metric or a chart in your dashboard needs immediate attention. You can put a comment under the metric, and your team will instantly be notified about your comment in real time via alerts and push notifications.

Likewise, your team members can reply under your comment and continue the conversational thread until the issue gets resolved.

Food for thought: Doesn't this make remote working easier than ever?

💭Think about it: Isn't it easy to use Datapad for creating charts rather than learning how to create a chart on Google Sheets?

If you think so, scan the QR code below, sign up to the platform, and start creating charts in no time.