Home » How to Make a Line Graph in Google Sheets (Easy Step-by-Step)
How to Make a Line Graph in Google Sheets (Easy Step-by-Step)
How to Make a Line Graph in Google Sheets Video tutorial:
Line Graph (also called line chart) is one of the most used charts when it comes to visualizing data in the business world.
It makes it really easy to understand the trend and see how the values are changing over time.
Below is a simple example of a line graph that shows the GDP growth rate of the US in the past 10 years (source).
Line graphs are quite easy to create in Google Sheets and you can do a lot of customizations to make sure you get the one you need.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a line graph in Google Sheets and all the amazing things you can do with it (including creating a combo of a line graph and column chart).
So lets get started!
Table of Contents
What Are Line Graphs Used For?
Line graphs are the best charts to show changes over time, whether that be over long or short periods. They make it easy to evaluate data and to draw comparisons when used as a double-line graph (or more). Although bar graphs and histograms can display similar results, people often prefer line graphs in Google spreadsheets to show their data.
How to Make a Line Graph in Google Sheets with Simple Data
Lets first look at how to create a simple line chart, where we only have one data series. This means that the line chart would only have one single line.
For the purpose of this tutorial, I will use the below dataset to make a line graph in Google Sheets.
Below are the steps of how to create a line graph in Google Sheets Spreadsheets:
The above steps would insert the line graph in the worksheet in Google Sheets (as shown below).
With the above dataset, Google Sheets automatically inserts a line chart, but that may not always happen.
Google tries to understand the data and gives you the best chart (which it thinks is the best visualization for the data). In case you dont get a line chart, you can easily change it and get the line graph instead.
Below are the steps to change any other chart type into a line chart:
The above steps would change the existing chart (which is not a line chart) into a line chart.
How to Make a Line Graph in Google Sheets with Multiple Lines
In the above section, we looked at a really simple example of inserting a line graph with one line only (as it only has one series of data).
But this next section will show how to make a double line graph in Google Sheets. The same method could also be used to add 3 or more line to the graph too.
Suppose you have the below dataset where we have the net profit figures for two different companies and we want to plot both of these in the same line graph.
Below are the steps of how to make a line chart in Google Sheets with the above data:
The above steps would give you a multiple lines graph as shown below:
In case you end up with a chart which is not a line chart, you can easily change it from Chart editor (using Chart type drop-down in the Setup tab).
How to Make Line Graph on Google Sheets Combined with a Column Graph
So far, we have seen how to make a line graph that only has the lines (be it a single line or multiple lines).
But you can also easily create combination charts where you can have two different types of chart types, i.e., one series will represent the line chart and one will represent the column chart.
Suppose you have a data set as shown below and you want to create a combo chart using it.
Below are the steps to create a line combo chart in Google Sheets:
The above steps would insert the combo chart which should look at something as shown below.
But this is still not what we expected.
The issue with the chart is that it doesnt help us read the profit margin numbers correctly. Since both, the series uses the same left axis, the Profit Margin values are too low in comparison to the Revenue figures, and hence it shows up so low in the chart.
To correct this, we need to make sure that the revenue and profit numbers are plotted on two different axes (one on the primary axis and one on the secondary axis). This will ensure that both of these are visible.
Below are the steps to add a secondary axis and plot profit figures on the secondary axis:
The above steps would make the profit series show up properly, as a secondary axis has been added which is used to plot the profit numbers.
Line Chart Google Sheets Setup and Customization
Now that we know how to create line graphs in Google Sheets, lets look at some of the customizations you can do with it.
In the Chart editor, there are two options to use for line charts:
To open the Chart editor, you need to click on the chart and then click in the three dots that appear at the top-right corner of the chart. From the options that show up, click on the Edit chart option. This will open the Chart editor pane on the right.
Lets look at each of these in detail:
Chart Setup, as the name suggests, helps you set up the chart the way you want.
Below are the options you have when it comes to chart setup:
Once you are done with chart setup, you can also do a lot of customizations with the line graph in Google Sheets.
In this section, we will cover all the chart customization options you have in Google Sheets (these are in the Customize tab in the Chart editor).
In the chart style option, you can change the chart background color, chart border color, as well as the font of the text in the chart.
Apart from that, you also have the following options:
Chart axis and titles
This is where you can customize the chart and axis titles of the line chart.
You can change or add the following types of titles:
You can also specify the title font, font size, text color and the format of the text (bold/italics)
Series How to Add Points to Line Graphs in Google Sheets and Alter Other Line Cosmetics
In the series options, you can change the format of all the series at one go or you can choose a specific series and then change its format only.
You can make the following changes using the series options:
Apart from these options, you can also add:
When you choose any of the above three options, it will further show you more options for each selected option. For example, when you choose the Error bars option, it will show you more options related to error bars.
Here you get all the options related to the legend.
You can the following:
Horizontal and Vertical Axis
Here you get all the customization options related to the horizontal axis.
You can do the following:
There is also an option to specify the maximum and the minimum value of the axis. This will make sure that all the line chart values remain within the specified range, and in case a value is outside the range that you have specified, it will be out of bounds in the chart.
There is also an option to Allow bounds to hide data which will make sure you dont see the data that is out of the specified limits in the line chart.
In this option, you can change everything about the gridlines in the line chart.
You can change the number of the major and the minor gridlines in the line chart as well as the color of these gridlines.
So this is how you can make a line graph in Google Sheets and edit and customize it.
I hope you found this tutorial useful.
A Line Graph Template for Google Sheets
Cant be bothered reading the article to learn how to do it yourself? No worries. You can make a copy of this template and simply change the labels and figures to suit your data.
Other Google Sheets tutorials you may like:
How to Add Error Bars in Google Sheets (in a few seconds)
How to Make a Bar Graph in Google Sheets (Easy Step-by-Step)
How to Make a Scatter Plot in Google Sheets (Easy Steps)
How to Find Slope on Google Sheets [Easy Guide]
Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel Expert.
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