The use cases for line graphs vary greatly and without a shadow of a doubt, it is one of the most important charts out there that effectively signifies data trends over a span of time.
If you’re looking to track something such as the number of sales that your business makes per year or the average number of pupils in your class that scores a certain grade over a period of time.
The list is endless.
With Google Sheets, you can now easily create a line chart of your own without messing around learning so much of the intricacies that may have left you discouraged from diving into it in the first place.
In this guide, I’ll show you how you can get started and help you create your first line chart with Google Sheets.
Let’s jump right in. 🤜
How to Create a Line Chart in Google Sheets:
- Jump into your Google Sheets and then enter the data that you want to use for your line chart. It can be the anything from the total valuation of two of the trillion-dollar companies, Apple versus Amazon and their prominent rise over a span of time, or it can be the NBA finals basketball game where the points scored over a game between the Toronto Raptors and Golden State Warriors. For the purposes of this guide, I’ll be going with Apple versus Amazon as an example. 🙂
Note: the data below that I plotted in the Google Sheets may not 100% reflect real market cap values for Apple and Amazon and may differ.
- Great! Now that you have your chosen data, simply select the entire data (like shown below) and then go to your top menu, select on Insert and then click Chart.
- See the Chart Editor dialogue box? (shown below) Good. Now click on the tab that says Chart type and then click Line chart. You should now see the collection of various Line charts available at your array. For now, we will choose the more common graph which will be the first one on the list. Note: Google Sheets is pretty intelligent as it will have already chosen Line chart for you based on your data type and range. You can see in the screenshot below that Google Sheet did for mine automatically.
- Now if you’re happy with your chart and how it looks, then you’re done! However, if you feel you need to change a few names, figures, or colors then simply click on the tab that says Customize. Here are the customizations that you can make:
- Chart and axis titles
Give your chart a personalized title. Currently, Google Sheets automatically called my line chart “Apple (Billions) and Amazon (Billions)”. It’s not quite informative, is it? So I’ll be changing mine to Apple Vs Amazon Prominence (2012-2019). You can name it whatever you like but the best rule of thumb is that the title best explains the data shown. 👌 You can also change the Horizontal axis title and Vertical axis title here in this section. I’ll be changing my Horizontal axis title to ‘Years’ and Vertical axis title to ‘Market Cap‘ in order to better reflect the information being presented.
- Legends (Names)
Next, choose the legend position. This is basically the names “Apple (Billions)” and “Amazon (Billions)” for this instance. You can choose the position for these names to be down at the bottom or to the right-hand side. I’ll be placing it at the Bottom. You can also change the font color and font sizes for both your title and your legends.
- Chart Style
I have picked Smooth just so it looks more pleasing at least to me. You can play around with it and change it to your liking.
- There are tons of other customization options too where you can change the background color of the line chart (Series), the grid lines itself and many more which are found within the dialogue box itself.
- Finally, once you’ve created your beautiful line chart simply click on the X symbol to the top right-hand corner of the dialog box.
Voila! Your line chart is ready.
That’s pretty much it. Feel free to make a copy of the example spreadsheet above to try and see how it is done.The most important lesson is you should have fun doing it.
For inspiration, you can have a scroll through Reddit’s r/dataisbeautiful subreddit for some beautiful examples of charts and graphs. 🙂
Let me know how it goes down below and I’ll try my best to reply to you and help you or even have a look at some of your finished line charts.