How to make a Bar Graph in Google Sheets (Easy Step-by-Step)

While Google Sheets is a spreadsheet tool where data is entered and stored, it’s not the best way to consume that data.

And that’s where graphs and charts in Google Sheets come in.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a bar graph in Google Sheets (many people also call it a bar chart).

A bar graph is one of the easiest charts to make. but can be really great when you want to see the trend and variation in data over time.

So let’s get started!

How to Make a Bar Graph in Google Sheets

Suppose you have a dataset a shown below and you want to create a bar graph to show the sales values as the bars:

Dataset to make a bar graph in Google Sheets

This is a dataset to create a simple bar graph as you only need to plot one series on the chart. However, this is still quite useful in day-to-day work and it allows you to easily visualize this data.

Below are the steps to create the bar graph in Google Sheets:

  1. Select the dataset (including the headers)
  2. In the toolbar, click on the ‘Insert chart’ icon. This will insert a suggested chart in the worksheetClick on the Insert Chart icon
  3. In the Chart Editor (that automatically shows up in the right), click on the Setup tab, and change the chart type to Bar chart. In case Google Sheets inserts a bar chart by default, you don’t need to do thisSelect the bar chart option in the chart editor
  4. You can change the title of the chart by double-clicking on it. This allows you to manually enter whatever title you want.

That’s It!

The above steps would insert a bar graph in your worksheet.

Sales Data by Product

Making a Stacked Bar Graph in Google Sheets

In the above example, we had a simple dataset with only one series.

But you can also work with multiple series and create stacked bar charts in Google Sheets.

Suppose you have a dataset as shown below and you want to create a stacked bar chart using it:

Data for stacked bar chart

Below are the steps to create a stacked bar graph in Google Sheets:

  1. Select the dataset (including the headers)
  2. In the toolbar, click on the ‘Insert chart’ icon.
  3. In the Chart Editor (that automatically shows up in the right), click on the Setup tab, and change the chart type to the Stacked Bar chart. In case Google Sheets inserts a Stacked bar chart by default, you don’t need to do this stepSelect Stacked bar chart option in Chart editor
  4. You can change the title of the chart by double-clicking on it. This allows you to manually enter whatever title you want.

The above steps would give you a stacked bar graph as shown below:

Standard Stacked bar chart

Making a 100% Stacked Bar Graph in Google Sheets

Just like the standard stacked bar graph, you can also make a 100% stacked bar chart (where all the bars are equal in size and the value of each series in a bar is shown as the percent).

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 and then click on Edit chart.
  • In the Edit chart pane, click on Setup
  • In the Stacking options, select 100%Change stacking to 100% to get 100% stacked bar chart

The above steps would convert your regular chart to a 100% stacked bar chart (as shown below).

100% Stacked bar chart

Once you have inserted the bar chart in the worksheet (regular of stacked), there are a number of changes you can make to it.

Let’s learn a little about how to customize and format this bar chart.

Customizing the Bar Graph

There are a number of 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 then click on the three-dotted lines that appear at the top-right of the chart. From the options that appear, click on the Edit Chart.

This will make the Chart Editor show up as a pane on the right.

In the Chart Editor, click on Customize option and it will show you all the options you have to customize and format the bar graph in Google Sheets.

Let’s quickly go through these options (best way to learn how to use this would be to give this a try yourself):

  • Chart style: This allows you to change the background and border color as well as the font style. So in case you need to use 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, and color/style. For example, you can make the font bold if you want.
  • Series: Here you can edit the series – such as the color of the bar. In case 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 want. For example, if Product B needs to be highlighted, you can choose a contrasting color for it (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 here (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: Here you can specify the color of major and minor gridlines, or turn these off. I prefer to not have gridlines at all.

Another important chart that a lot of 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 then customize it accordingly.

I hope you found this tutorial useful!

Other Google Sheets tutorials you may like:

Leave a Comment