Easily Make an X and Y Axis Graph on Google Sheets

Making an x and y axis graph on Google Sheets is a piece of cake. There are plenty of different types of charts that use x and y axis and you simply need to select the data you wish to make into a graph and then navigate to Insert > Chart and select the chart type you’d like. For example, you could use a scatter graph or a histogram.

What Are Y-Axis and X-Axis on a Graph?

In a 2D graph, the x and y axes are two lines at a 90-degree angle intersecting at an origin point 0 for both quantities. The axes are used to represent two different variables through a graphical representation. The horizontal line­ on a graph generally represents the­ x-axis and is located on the bottom. The vertical line­ represents the­ y-axis and appears towards the­ middle or left side of the­ graph.

For example, if you want to create a graph representing temperature and time, the x-axis will represent the time values and the y-axis will be used to represent the temperature. By plotting a xy graph, you can visually show the relationship between the two variables.

Types of X and Y on a Graph

The x and y axis display different types of information in different graphs. Let’s take a look at some of the commonly used graphs that employ the x and y-axis.

  • Bar Chart: A bar chart is a popular way to repre­sent data using rectangular bars. The he­ight or length of each bar corresponds to the­ values being prese­nted in the table. Typically, one­ axis is used to define diffe­rent groups of data, while the othe­r measures the value­s for those groups.
  • Line Graph: A line graph uses straight lines to connect different points on the graph. In this type of graph, the x-axis usually represents the independent variable, such as time. In contrast, the y-axis shows the dependent variable, such as sales, population, or temperature.
  • Histograms: Histograms are a type­ of graph that displays the distribution of continuous data in an easily understandable manner. They re­semble bar graphs but incorporate information on fre­quency and categories. The­ x-axis is used to represe­nt the range of values, while­ the y-axis showcases the fre­quency of each category’s value­s.
  • Scatter Plot: A scatter plot can show the relationship between any two given variables. The x and y axes can represent a variable, and a dot can plot points on a graph.

How to Graph X and Y Axis on Google Sheets

To create a graph in Google Sheets, you need to have the data in tabular form in your spreadsheet.

  1. Open the spreadsheet where you want to create the graph or chart for the x and y-axis.
Select the data
  1. Here, click and drag across the table to select it. This will be represented with a blue tint across the cells.
Go to insert, then chart
  1. Click Insert in the main toolbar, then click the Chart button in the dropdown menu. This will add a chart and open the chart editor menu towards the right side of the screen.
Select a compatible chart type
  1. In the Chart editor, click on the option under Chart type and select the type of chart you want to create.
make sure the range is correct
  1. Ensure the Data range contains the cell range for the data you want to add to the chart.
Select customize
  1. To customize the chart, click on the Customize button in the Chart editor. There you can select the options that allow you to make visual changes to the chart.

For a more in-depth guide on making charts in Sheets, check out our article on everything you need to know about Google Sheets charts.

How to Graph Equations on Sheets

A lot of times, you may have an equation in the cell. When plotting a graph for cells with formulas, Google Sheets will treat it the same way as it would for cells containing raw numerical values. This means the process should be the same if the formula’s output is numerical.

For this example, we have a dataset where the values for X-axis are between 1-10, and Y-axis uses the formula =2*(N^3) where N is the corresponding value from X.

Here is how to create a chart for this:

sample data
  1. Click on the initial cell and drag the fill handle to select the dataset.
Navigate to Insert > Chart
  1. Now, click on Insert in the main bar and then click on Chart. This will add the chart and open the chart editor.
Select line chart
  1. Like the steps in the previous heading, click on the option under Chart type in the Setup section and select the type of chart you want to create.
Head to customize
  1. To customize the chart, click on Customize in the header bar.

This article focused on creating charts with two data ranges. If you want multiple data ranges in your Sheets chart, check out the linked article.

How to Switch the Y and X-Axis

Sheets usually take a good guess at the chart type you want to use and smartly create the chart. However, it’s sometimes inaccurate, so you may want to swap the data on the X and Y axis. Here is how to swap X and Y axis on Sheets:

Open the 3 dot menu
  1. Click on the graph to select it, and click on the ellipsis icon at the top right of the chart. This will open a dropdown menu.
Click edit chart
  1. Click on the Edit Chart button here. This will open the Chart editor window towards the right side of the screen.
Name the axes
  1. Make sure you’re in the Setup tab. You can select this using the button towards the top.
  2. Here, you will see labels for X-axis and Series. Click on the option under X-axis and change it to the other parameter. In this case, we are changing it to Y.
  3. Repeat this step and change the Series option to the parameter for X-axis.

Switching the axis can be very beneficial when Google Sheets fails to intelligently detect the axis for the graphs. Here is an in-depth guide to switching X and Y axis in Sheets.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where Is the X-Axis on a Graph?

The X-axis is the horizontal axis on a graph and is usually located towards the bottom if the graph consists of positive numerical values. The X-axis represents the independent variable and typically goes left to right on the graph.

Where Is the Y-Axis in a Graph?

The Y-axis is a vertical axis on the graph and is located towards the left side. It represe­nts the depende­nt variable or what changes due to adjustme­nts in the independe­nt variable. Generally, it e­xtends from the bottom to the top of the­ graph.

How Can I Graph X and Y Axis on Google Sheets?

To create a graph for the x and y axes on Sheets, enter your data into the spreadsheet and select the data. Now, click on Insert the main bar and click on Chart, which will add the chart. Here, select the Chart type and the Data range.

Wrapping Up

That should be everything you need to know about making an x and y axis graph in Google Sheets. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments. If you found this guide useful and would like to support the Spreadsheetpoint team, consider purchasing one of our premium templates. You can even use the code SSP to save 50% on any downloads.

Get Premium Templates


Most Popular Posts

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.
Related Posts

Disclosure: Spreadsheet Point is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.