How to Make a Graph in Google Sheets

Google Sheets lets you add various types of charts and graphs to your spreadsheet, providing the ability to transform your boring data into attractive and easy-to-digest visualizations. There are dozens of variations available, including oft-used options like column and pie charts as well as lesser-known data visuals such as scatter plots and tree maps.

In the steps below we show you how to make a graph or chart in Google Sheets across multiple platforms, focusing on bar graphs as an example.

We're going to go on the assumption you know the graph itself will come from the data you've entered into the sheet (even if you've pasted that data from elsewhere).

Making a Bar Graph

Steps to make a graph in Google Sheets.
These are the steps to make a simple graph in Google Sheets.

As mentioned above, there are several different types of graphs available that can depict your data in a more visually appealing manner. Follow these instructions to create a bar graph, which can then be modified to a different type later in the tutorial if you wish.

Desktop/Laptop (most web browsers; Google Chrome preferred)

  1. Open an existing spreadsheet or create a new one from scratch.
  2. Enter all data that you wish to use in your bar graph, if necessary. This data should typically be in table form, as shown in the accompanying screenshot.
  3. Select all the cells containing data that you wish to include in your bar graph, including headers if desired. You can choose to skip this step and define a data range after the chart has already been created, although doing it this way is typically much simpler.
  4. Choose the Insert option from the Google Sheets menu, located towards the top of the screen. When the drop-down list appears, click on Chart.
  5. Your chart will now appear, overlaying some of the cells in your spreadsheet. Click and drag it to the desired location. You can also adjust its size at this point by clicking and dragging the blue corner or side indicators accordingly.
  6. The Chart editor interface should also be visible, located on the right-hand side of your browser window. Click on the DATA header, if it's not already selected. Next, select the drop-down menu in the Chart type section.
  7. A thumbnail image representing each available chart and graph type should now be displayed, broken down by category. Scroll down to the section labeled Bar and select the first option, Bar chart.
  8. If you skipped Step 1 and have yet to define the source for your bar graph, click on the button located in the Data range section and enter one or more groups of cells containing the data that you wish to be depicted.
  9. At this point the basics of your bar graph should be in place. As you can see, there are many other customizable settings within the Chart editor interface which you can play around with until your graph's layout and contents are exactly to your liking.

Android/iOS

  1. Launch the Google Sheets app.
  2. Open an existing spreadsheet or create a new one from scratch.
  3. Enter all data that you wish to use in your bar graph, if necessary. This data should typically be in table form, as shown in the accompanying screenshot.
  4. Select all the cells containing data that you wish to include in your bar graph, including headers if desired.
  5. Tap the Insert button, represented by a plus(+) symbol and located at the top of your screen.
  6. When the Insert menu appears, select Chart.
  7. A sample of what your chart looks like will now be displayed, accompanied by a number of configurable options. Tap the one labeled Type.
  8. A set of over a dozen charts and graphs should be visible, separated by category. Scroll down to the section labeled BAR and select the first option. It should be noted that some chart and graph types are only available on the computer version of Google Sheets and are not offered for Android or iOS devices.
  9. Tap the check mark, located in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  10. Your bar graph should now be in place, overlaying the existing cells in your spreadsheet. Drag and drop it to the desired location, preferably below or alongside the data table.

To edit your graph at a later time, simply double-click on it so that the Chart editor interface appears (browser-based version) or tap it and select the Edit Chart button (Android/iOS app).

Other Graph Types

Google Sheets graphs and charts
Screenshot from Windows

In the example above we showed you how to create a bar graph, just one of many charts available in Google Sheets. By following the same steps and choosing a different type when prompted you can include one or more of the following in your spreadsheet. As you will see, some options are only available in the browser-based version of Google Sheets.

Line charts

  • Standard
  • Smooth
  • Combo

Area charts

  • Standard
  • Stacked area
  • 100% stacked area (browser only)
  • Stepped area
  • Stacked stepped area (browser only)
  • 100% stacked stepped area (browser only)

Column charts

  • Standard
  • Stacked
  • 100% stacked

Bar charts

  • Standard
  • Stacked
  • 100% stacked (browser only)

Pie charts

  • Standard
  • Doughnut
  • 3D

Scatter charts

  • Standard
  • Bubble

Map charts

  • Geo (browser only)
  • Geo with markers (browser only)

Miscellaneous charts

  • Waterfall (browser only)
  • Sparkline (browser only)
  • Histogram (browser only)
  • Radar (browser only)
  • Gauge (browser only)
  • Candlestick
  • Organizational (browser only)
  • Tree map (browser only)
  • Timeline (browser only)
  • Table (browser only)