How to Make a Chart on Google Docs

Although it’s not as common to include charts in a document as it is in presentations or spreadsheets, they can still be a valuable data source in internal or external memos, as well as school and workplace reports. This guide will show you how to make a chart on Google Docs. It really is as simple as navigating to Insert > Chart and selecting the type of chart you’d like to add.

If you’d like a detailed step-by-step guide with screenshots or would simply like to learn more about charts in Google Sheets, read on.

Why Include Charts?

Charts can be used to represent the relationship among different sets of data graphically. They are often used to show the trends, recurring patterns, and relationships in the data. Fort example, you can use a bar chart to indicate how the sales of a particular product have increased or decreased over the last five years. Here, you can use the length of the bars to represent the year’s sales.

If you’re using the charts in an important document, you should also make sure your grammar is on point, so you’re taken seriously. the best way to do this is to download Grammarly. Grammarly makes it simple to check your spelling and grammar. The paid versions also has a ton of extras including the ability to shape the tone of your writing. We also have full guide on how to use Grammarly with Google Docs.

Types of Charts in Google Docs

You can choose from four different types when making a chart in Google Docs. These are:

  1. Bar: Bar graphs represent data using rectangular bars of different widths. They are in a horizontal orientation and great to use when comparing data across groups or categories. Each bar makes it easy to compare to the others and shows obvious changes in the data.
  2. Column: A column graph is basically a vertical bar chart that uses vertical bars to display the data. Similar to a bar graph, the varying heights of each bar display the differences between the values.
  3. Line: A line chart, also known as a line graph, is drawn to show the changes in any kind of data or information over time. For plotting it, several points are linked by using straight lines.
  4. Pie: This is a graph that shows the data or any kind of information in a circular chart. The relative number or size is shown as slices depending on the different kinds of data. The term “pie” means anything as a whole, and “slices” means the pie’s different parts.

How to Make a Chart on Google Docs From Google Sheets

If you have a Google Sheets spreadsheet that contains the data you wish to add to the chart, you can simply connect it to Docs. Here is how to make charts on Google Docs using Sheets:

  1. Open the document in Google Sheets where you wish to add the chart.
How to Make a chart on Google Docs
  1. Click on the Insert option in the toolbar and the Chart option in the dropdown menu.
An example chart
  1. A window will open in the middle of the screen where you can select the spreadsheet you wish to get the chart from. Click to select the spreadsheet you wish to import the chart from. In the example above, you can see we are trying to import a Google Sheets pie chart.
  2. Another menu will open, where you can select the chart you wish to add. Click on the chart and then click on the blue Import button.

The chart will then be added to the document. If you only wish to add the chart as an image, click on the chain link icon towards the top right and click the Unlink button, which converts the chart into an image.

The primary benefit of using Google Sheets to import a chart into Google Docs first is that you can pick from a wider range of options. For example, you could import a Google Sheets combo chart, whereas the other options in the Insert menu in Google Docs only allow for simple charts. As you’ll find out in the next section, you will have to use Google Sheets anyway to get accurate data into your document.

How to Add a Chart in Google Docs

Adding a chart in Google Docs is very simple and requires following a few simple steps.

Here is how to add a chart on Google Docs:

Navigate to Insert > Chart and select the chart type
  1. Open an existing Google Doc or create a Blank document.
  2. Click on the Insert option in the toolbar and the Chart option in the dropdown menu.
  3. Here, select the chart type you wish to insert. You can choose between Bar, Column, Line, and Pie charts.

The chart will show up in the text cursor’s location. However, the chart will only have placeholder data.

How to Edit Charts in Google Docs

The charts you add in Google Docs aren’t editable in Docs. Instead, you need to use Google Sheets to edit the data inside the chart. Related: Lesson Plans for Google Docs

Here is how to edit the Google Docs chart template:

  1. In the document, click to select the chart.
Open the linked chart
  1. Click on the chain link icon towards the top right of the selected chart. This will open a small dropdown menu.
Click on open source
  1. Here, click the Open source button to open the linked spreadsheet in a new Google Sheets window.
The placeholder data that you can edit
  1. The top left part of the spreadsheet will contain the data, and the chart will be under the data. Make the necessary edits to the data, and the chart will be updated in real-time in Sheets.
Click on update
  1. Go back to the tab and select the chart. There, click on the chart to select it and click on the Update button to update the chart in Docs.

How to Make a Chart on Google Docs on a Phone

The Google Docs mobile app does not have the option of creating charts. You need to use Google Docs on a browser to do this. Most browsers provide a “desktop view” option that will give you a similar experience to the desktop version. You can also add the chart using the desktop version and change it using the Google Sheets mobile app, as the charts in Google Documents are editable in Google Sheets.

Why Are Charts Important?

Most business presentations often incorporate multiple charts, as using charts in presentations  will easily convey a huge amount of data visually and help people understand the provided data. This allows you to make more informed choices and take action quickly.

Charts are becoming an increasingly essential tool as businesses become more data-driven and monitor large amounts of data. They assist executives in swiftly determining the pulse of the business. In contrast, the heads of departments may use charts to assess the efficacy of a new plan or marketing and its impact on their business and team.

Related: Everything to Know About Google Sheets Charts (15 Min Guide)

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Google Docs Have a Chart Template?

Google Docs allows you to add charts to your document. To do this, click on Insert in the main toolbar and then click on Chart. In the menu, you can select whether you wish to create Bar, Column, Line, and Pie charts or if you wish to import one From Sheets. After adding the chart, you can edit it from Google Sheets by clicking the chain link icon towards the top right side of the chart and then on the Open source button.

How Do I Make Google Docs Look Like Graph Paper?

You can create the graph paper look in your document by creating tables. To do this, click on the Insert button in the main toolbar. Click on the Table option and choose the grid size using your cursor. Using a larger grid size will lead to smaller boxes, whereas using a smaller grid size will lead to larger boxes.

Wrapping Up

Now you should know everything about how to make a chart on Google Docs. To summarize, you just have to navigate to Insert > Chart.


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Chris Daniel

Chris Daniel

Chris is a spreadsheet expert and content writer. He has a double Bachelor's Degree in Teaching and has been working in the education industry for over 11 years. His experience makes him adept at breaking down complex topics so that everyone is able to understand.