Have you ever wondered how to make a bar graph in Google Sheets? While Google Sheets is a spreadsheet tool where data is entered and stored, plain cells are not the most efficient data visualization method.
And that’s where graphs and charts in Google Sheets come in. This tutorial will show you how to make a bar graph in Google Sheets.
A bar graph (or bar chart) is one of the easiest charts to make. It is the perfect tool if you want to see and compare trends and variations over time. However, we also know that not everyone is proficient in creating bar graphs. If you want to upskill, you can learn more about charts here.
Alternatively, if you’d like to skip the tutorial altogether and use a bar chart template, you can download our pre-made templates below.
So let’s get started!
Table of Contents
How To Make a Bar Graph in Google Sheets
The process for making a bar graph in Google Sheets is simple:
- Select the data.
- Go to “Insert” > “Chart.”
- Select the bar graph type in the “Chart editor.”
- Close the “Chart editor.”
That’s It! Making a bar graph in Google Sheets is easy.
How To Make a Bar Graph in Google Sheets with Examples
Suppose you have a dataset like the one shown below, and you want learn how to make a bar graph in Google Sheets to view the sales values as the bars:
As this is a dataset, to create a simple bar graph, you only need to plot one series on the chart. However, this is still quite useful in day-to-day work, allowing you to visualize this data quickly.
Let’s get you started creating bar graphs in Google Sheets with the following example:
- Select the dataset (including the headers).
- In the toolbar, click on the “Insert chart” icon. Doing so will insert a suggested chart in the worksheet.
- In the “Chart editor” (that automatically shows up on the right), click on the “Setup” tab.
- You will find different chart types.
- Change the chart type to a “Bar chart.”
- In this case, Google Sheets inserts a bar chart by default, so you don’t need to do this.
- You can change the chart’s title by double-clicking on it, which allows you to enter whatever label you want manually.
The above steps would insert a bar graph in your worksheet.
If your data range has two columns of data instead of one, you can use a double bar graph. It will usually appear in the suggestions in the Chart editor.
How To Create a Stacked Bar Chart in Google Sheets
In the above example, we learned how to make a bar graph using Google Sheets using a single data set. But you can also create stacked bar charts for multiple data ranges in Google Sheets.
Suppose you have a dataset as shown below, and you want to create a stacked bar chart using it:
Below are the steps to learn how to create a bar chart in Google Sheets:
- Select the dataset (including the headers).
- In the toolbar, click on the ‘Insert chart‘ icon.
- In the “Chart editor” (that automatically shows up on the right), click the “Setup” tab.
- Change the chart type to the “Stacked Bar Chart.”
- Google Sheets will insert a Stacked bar chart by default, so you don’t need to do it.
- You can change the chart’s title by double-clicking on it; this allows you to enter whatever title you want manually.
The above steps would give you a stacked bar graph as shown below:
Making a 100% Stacked Bar Graph in Google Sheets
Like the standard stacked bar graph, you can also make a 100% stacked bar chart; Google Sheets allows you to create a chart where all the bars are equal in size, and the value of each series in a bar shows as a percentage.
To insert a 100% stacked bar graph, follow all the steps mentioned above to create a standard stacked bar chart and then make the following changes:
- Select the already inserted stacked bar chart.
- Click on the three dots at the top right part of the chart, then click on “Edit chart.”
- In the “Edit chart” pane, click on “Setup.”
- In the “Stacking” options, select “100%.”
The above steps would convert your regular chart to a 100% stacked bar chart (as shown below).
Once you have inserted the bar chart in the worksheet (regular or stacked), you can change and customize it.
Let’s learn a little about how to customize and format this bar chart.
Customizing the Bar Graph
There are several things you can customize in the bar chart. And these options are available in the “Chart editor” tab.
To open the “Chart editor” tab, click on the chart and click on the three-dotted lines that appear at the top-right of the graph. From the options that appear, click on the “Edit chart.” This will make the “Chart editor” appear as a pane on the right.
In the “Chart” menu, click on the “Customize” option, and it will show you all the choices you have to customize and format the bar graph in Google Sheets.
Let’s quickly go through these options. However, the best way to learn how to use this feature would be to try it yourself.
- Chart style: This allows you to change the background, border color, and font style. For example, if you want to use the font Verdana on all your charts, this is where you make those changes. There is also an option to maximize, which will expand the chart to occupy more space.
- Chart and axis titles: Here, you can change the chart title, add a chart subtitle, and change the horizontal and vertical axis titles. You can also change the font type, size, color, and style. For example, you can make the font bold if you want.
- Series: Here, you can edit the series — such as the bar’s color. If you’ve created a stacked bar chart, you can choose the series for which you want to make the changes. An interesting option here is to change the color of a specific bar if you wish. For example, if Product B needs to be highlighted, you can choose a contrasting color (as shown below). You can also add error bars and data labels using this option.
- Legend: Here, you can change the legend setting, such as the position of the font format. Since we only have one series, having a legend doesn’t make sense. But it would be useful when you have multiple series (examples covered later in this tutorial).
- Horizontal Axis: Here, you can change the horizontal axis label, font type, size, and format. You can also specify the maximum and minimum values of the chart (by default, the bar graph adjusts the maximum values based on the dataset).
- Vertical Axis: Here, you can change the vertical axis label font type, size, and format. You can also reverse the axis (which means that Product E will be shown at the top and Product A at the bottom).
- Gridlines: You can specify the color of major and minor gridlines or turn these off. I prefer not to have gridlines at all, but that is a personal preference, so choose yours accordingly.
Another important chart that many people prefer is the column chart, which is just like a bar chart but has vertical columns instead of horizontal bars.
So, this is how you can make a bar graph in Google Sheets and customize it accordingly. I hope you found this tutorial useful!
How To Create a Bar Graph in Google Sheets With A Template
Can’t be bothered or too busy to learn how to create the bar graph in Google Sheets? We have you covered. Click on the link below to access our free Google Sheets bar graph templates. There are four templates to use in this spreadsheet, so you have to navigate between the sheets at the bottom of the page.
You will also need to make a copy to edit the spreadsheet. To do this, open the “File” menu, then click “Make a copy.” An editable copy will open in a new tab.
How To Label a Bar Graph in Google Sheets
You can customize your Google Sheets bar graph in the Chart editor after creating it. You can also add or change the labels. To do this:
- Go to the “Chart editor” either by double-clicking your chart or clicking the three dots in the chart and choosing “Edit chart.”
- Go to “Customize” > “Chart and axis titles.”
- Click on the “Chart title” drop-down menu to find the chart title you want to add or edit.
- Choose one, for example, horizontal axis, and type your label in the title text bar.
Your labels will be added to your chart immediately. You can also change the individual labels for each bar on each axis.
However, you can do this in the chart editor. To change the labels for the bars, you have to change them in your data table. For example, in our chart, if you want to change Product A to Apple, we can type it in the data table, and it will automatically change in the bar graph.
How To Add Error Bars to a Bar Chart in Google Sheets
Error bars are used to represent estimations in a graph. Here’s how to add error bars,
- Go to the “Chart editor.” If you closed it previously, you can reopen it by double-clicking on the chart.
- Go to “Customize.”
- Click the drop-down for “Series.”
- Check the box for “Error bars.”
- Input the percentage of error. You can also change the value type to “Constant, Standard Deviation, or None.”
You will see the error bars added to your chart, similar to the example below:
How To Format a Data Point
If you want to format one particular data point to stand out in your bar graph, here’s how you do it:
- Double-click on the graph to open up the editor.
- Navigate to “Customize” > “Series.”
- Click the “Add” button next to the “Format data point.”
- Select the data point you wish to change the formatting of and click “OK.”
- Change the color to your desired one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Make a Bar Graph on Google Sheets?
Yes, you can make a bar graph in Google Sheets by following these steps:
- Highlight the data you wish to turn into a bar graph.
- Navigate to “Insert” > “Chart.”
- In the “Setup” menu for the chart, select the “Bar chart” option in the drop-down list under the “Chart type” menu.
How Do I Make a Simple Bar Graph in Google Sheets?
- Highlight the data.
- Navigate to “Insert” > “Chart.”
- Head to “Setup” > “Chart Type” > “Bar chart.”
How Do You Make a Bar Graph With Two Sets of Data in Google Sheets?
For a double bar graph, you need both sets of data to be able to be plotted along one axis. So, you need to have the two sets of data in adjacent columns, with a third column being data points that the other two can relate to. Then, you have to follow the normal steps to make a bar graph.
What’s the Difference Between a Column Graph and a Bar Graph in Google Sheets?
Bar graphs and column graphs are very similar and are both great ways to show information in a digestible way. The primary difference between the two is the axis that the data flows. Bar graphs run from left to right, while column graphs show the data from bottom to top. You can switch either of these charts by changing the x and y axes.
If you also want to add a line to your graph, you should do a column graph instead of a bar graph.
How Do I Change the Titles, Legends, or Series After I Have Created a Bar Graph?
You can make all of these changes through the “Chart editor” tab.
- Double-click on the chart.
- Click on the “Customize” tab.
- From here, choose what you’d like to edit. There is a more detailed explanation above of what each section does under the title “Customizing the Bar Graph.”
So, that’s how to make a bar graph in Google Sheets. If you’re interested in learning more about charts and graphs, check out how to create combo charts in Google Sheets. Alternatively, check out these online courses to learn how to make visually appealing charts, business charts, and more!