Line graphs are one of the most commonly used kinds of charts used for giving visualization to data.
These kinds of graphs are very useful for providing an easy-to-understand visual element to data that makes it easy to see trends and examine how data changes over time.
Line graphs are very easy to make and customize in Google Sheets.
In this tutorial, I will show you how to make a line graph in Google Sheets.
Table of Contents
What is a Line Graph?
A line graph (also called a line plot or line chart) is a graph that connects individual data points with lines. It is used to display values over time.
These useful data visualizations allow you to see how trends change over time.
Here is an example of a line graph:
In the above example, the line graph is comparing revenue by month from one year to the next.
Notice how with this type of data visualization, it is very easy to see the trend of data and make a comparison.
This is why line graphs are so useful.
Making a Line Graph
Now that I have covered the basics of what a line graph is, let’s go over how to actually create one in Google Sheets.
Making a line graph is very simple, but you need to already have the data that you want to create the graph with in your spreadsheet.
Here are the steps:
1. Highlight the range of data that you want to create the line graph with
2. In the top menu select Insert
3. In the drop-down select Chart
4. Sometimes Google Sheets will automatically choose a line chart to display your data. Other times you will have to choose a line chart in the chart type section
5. You should now have a line chart displaying the data that you highlighted in step 1
Different Types of Line Graphs
Simple Line Graph
There are a few different kinds of line graphs that you can create, and the process for making them is very similar.
For example, you can make a simple line graph that only has one set of data.
The steps to do this are the same. You highlight your dataset and then insert the chart, and then change the chart type to a line chart if it’s not automatically one.
Here is an example of a simple line graph with only one dataset:
Multiple Line Graph
To make a line graph with multiple lines, the steps are the same.
The initial data that you create the chart with needs to have enough data to plot two lines.
In the above example, there are two datasets that can be plotted in our line graph: 2020 revenue and 2021 revenue. When I create a chart with this data it will create two lines:
How to Edit a Line Graph
As with any kind of chart in Google Sheets, there are a ton of customizations you can make for your line graph through the chart editor.
If you want to edit your line graph, double click on your chart and you will see the chart editor appear on the right-hand side.
From here select the Customize tab and you will find all the of the different options that you have for editing your graph
After you click customize, you will find all the options for editing your chart. You can customize the:
- Chart style
- Chart and axis titles
- Horizontal axis
- Vertical axis
- Gridlines and ticks
To edit something specifically in your chart, click on the section in the chart editor that you want to edit, and from there you will find the expanded options for customizations you can make.
You can change things like fonts, colors, line sizes, line styles, axis values, and more
There is a reason line graphs are one of the most common types of charts used. When you have data that changes over time, these types of graphs are among the best for allowing you to see a clear trend in your dataset.
By now, hopefully, you can see that creating one in your spreadsheet is a really simple process.
As you gain more experience working with different chart types in Google Sheets you will better understand how to create and customize your chart to make it easier to read.