How to create line graphs in Google Sheets.
One of the most common types of graphs that people create in spreadsheets, be it Excel or Google Sheets, is a line graph.
Line plots are easy to create, especially from one dataset, but you can also create line plots from two or more datasets. As a result, several lines will be created on one chart.
This article will show you how to create a line graph in Google Sheets, whether you are working with one dataset or several.
Make a Single Line Graph in Google Sheets
The simplest data format for creating a graph is two columns. One column will be the X-axis and the other will be the Y-axis.
It doesn’t matter if you enter data into these cells or into the results of calculations in other tables.
To create a line chart, follow these steps.
1. Select both columns up to the last row of data.
2. Select the chart icon to the right of the row of icons in the Google Sheets menu. This will automatically create a chart on your sheet using the data you selected.
Google Sheets is smart enough to create a chart title from column headings. It also places the first column on the X-axis with the correct label and the second column on the Y-axis with its own label.
Making a Multi-Line Graph In Google Sheets
To plot a line graph in Google Sheets from multiple datasets, the process is roughly the same. You will need to place the data in multiple columns, again with the x-axis data in the leftmost column.
To create a line graph from this data:
- Select all three columns up to the last row of data.
- Click the chart icon on the right side of the icon bar. on the menu.
As before, this will automatically create a multi-like graph. This time, you will see the second and third columns of data appear on the graph as two lines (two series).
Note that all of the following is automatically generated:
- The title of the graph is taken from the headers of the second and third columns.
- Series labels are also taken from the column headings.
- The X-axis is created from the data in the first column.
- The Y-axis is generated from the data range of the second and third columns.
As you can see, the graph is drawn on the same scale. This means that the default maximum and minimum range will be wide enough for both series of data to be plotted on the same graph.
The good news is that you are not sticking to the default chart settings. It can be customized to look exactly the way you want.
Formatting a Line Graph in Google Sheets
To refresh the appearance of the chart, hover over it and you will see three vertical dots in the upper right corner.
Select the points and choose Edit Chart from the drop-down menu.
A window will appear on the right side of the table. You can explore two tabs. One is “Setting” and the other is “Setting”.
Select Custom and you will see many other chart styles to choose from.
You will see several styles of line charts, and you can also change the chart to something else, such as a bar, pie chart, or even a combination of several styles.
For example, you can choose a line and histogram combination in which one column is used for the line and the other for the columns. Each chart type has a different purpose, depending on what data you are visualizing and how you want to compare the data.
To format the created line chart, go to the “Settings” tab.
In the first section, you will see an option for the chart style. You can play around with different layout options. One of the most common is Maximize, which creates the smallest possible scale that both datasets can fit.
This is a way to maximize the scale of your data without losing your dataset.
Other options include:
- Smoothing: Apply smoothing to a line chart to reduce noise in your data.
- Expand: Decreases padding and margins.
- Construct Zero Values: If there are blank cells (zero values), selecting this will render them, creating small breaks in the row where there are zero values.
- Compare mode: display data when you hover over a line.
The next important section to be aware of is the series.
Here you can customize the icons that represent individual data points (select any shape from the list). You can also adjust the size of these icons and the line width of the axis.
At the bottom, you’ll also see options for adding bar charts, data labels, and trendlines to your Google Sheets line chart.
Horizontal and vertical axes
Use the Horizontal Axis and Vertical Axis sections to set options on each axis, for example:
- Label font and size
- Label format (bold or italic)
- The colors of the text on the axes.
- Whether to treat the labels themselves as text.
- Show axis line or make it invisible.
- Apply a factor to each axis scale
- Apply a logarithmic scale
- Adjust the number format if it has not been used in the data.
Of course, you will also see the option to manually set maximum and minimum limits for the Y-axis scale only.
Making Line Charts In Google Sheets
When you create a line chart in Google Sheets, it automatically appears on the same sheet as your data, but you can copy the line chart and paste it into another sheet tab. It will still display the original data from the original tab.
You may be tempted to plot your data as graphs or charts in Excel. But line charts in Google Sheets are much easier to create and customize than in Google Sheets. The options are straightforward and the setup is much more intuitive. So if you ever need to plot any data in a line graph format, try it in Google Sheets first.
How to create line graphs in Google Sheets
How to create line graphs in Google Sheets