Google Sheets is a convenient alternative to Microsoft Excel. It offers many of the same functions in a cloud-based package. However, it can still be a challenge to read and understand large sheets of data. Here’s how to make a graph in Google Sheets to simplify your information.

The process of creating a graph in Google Sheets is similar to that of Excel, though you’ll have to be ready for a different set of buttons. We’ve grabbed our data from IDC, so you can always use that as an example and follow along.

How to make a graph in Google Sheets

1. Much like making a graph in Excel, the first step is to select your data. After all, an empty chart won’t do much for your readers.

2. Now head up to the Insert tab (located between View and Format) and scroll down to the Chart option. The Chart button is where you’ll find both charts and graphs in Google Sheets, there is no Graph button.

3. You’ll probably notice that Google Sheets defaults to a stacked column chart. It’s not perfect for everyone, but now we’ll dig into the Chart Editor (at right) to get everything just right.

  • Creating a pie chart in Google Sheets is best for percentage data. However, it doesn’t work as well across multiple time periods.
  • Creating a bar chart in Google Sheets is best for frequency data. It would work in this case, but it would be complicated based on how much data we have.

4. The first setting we’ll change is to choose a Line Chart. This helps us to illustrate the rise and fall of each manufacturer’s market share by quarter. Google will actually give recommendations for chart types based on your data input.

5. Once you’ve chosen your chart type, scroll down to check that the X-Axis and Series match the information you’ve selected.

6. The last step is to head to the Customize tab. This is where you can tinker with titles and legends as well as change the color scheme of your chart. You can also click on the title or legend in the chart to jump to the specific menu.

Now that you know how to make a chart in Google Sheets, it’s time to get out there and practice!