HomeTechnologyNewsHow to Make a Chart in Google Docs

How to Make a Chart in Google Docs

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Use the Insert > Chart menu in Google Docs to insert a chart. You can choose from a variety of chart types: bar, column, line, and pie. The chart will appear with sample data and you will be able to edit the chart data in the connected Google Sheet.

If you want a chart in your report, proposal, or research paper, you can create one right in Google Docs. No need to worry about making one somewhere else and embedding it. Just insert your chart and add your data.

When you create a chart in Google Docs, you’re directed to a Google Sheet to replace the sample data with your own. You can then customize the chart to look and feel the way you want. Head back to Google Docs and your chart is ready to update.

Insert a chart in Google Docs

Visit Google Docs, sign in, and open a new or existing document.

RELATED: How to make a bar chart in Google Sheets

Go to the Insert tab and move the cursor to “Chart”. You can then choose to add a bar chart, column chart, line chart, or pie chart. Note that you can also add a chart that you’ve already created in Google Sheets.

Types of charts in the Insert menu of Google Docs

The chart you select will appear in your document with sample data. You’ll see a short message at the bottom left of Google Docs with a link to edit the chart in Google Sheets. Click “Edit in Sheets” to do so.

Edit link in Sheets in Google Docs

If the message disappears before you can click the link, select the arrow in the top right corner of the graphic and choose “Open Source.”

Open Source in the graphics menu of Google Docs

Edit and add chart data in Google Sheets

When the connected spreadsheet opens in Google Sheets, you’ll see the data and the chart. You can then replace the sample chart data on the sheet with your own. The chart then updates automatically.

Data and charts in Google Sheets

You can work with the data and chart in Google Sheets as if you had created it there initially. For example, you might want to add another series to a bar chart or more pieces to a pie chart.

RELATED: How to make a chart in Google Sheets

Use the area in the spreadsheet to edit and add data. To include new columns or rows in the chart, double click on the chart or select the three-dot menu at the top right and choose “Edit Chart”.

Edit chart in chart menu

When the Graph Editor sidebar opens, go to the Settings tab. You can adjust the cells in the Data Range field as needed. Then use the Series section to include the additional series on your chart.

Range and series sections in the chart editor

Customize chart elements and appearance

You may want to change the chart colors, add a title, or display grid lines. Open the Graph Editor sidebar and select the Customize tab.

Customize tab in the Chart Editor

You can then expand each of the sections to customize your chart. Use the Chart Style area to adjust the colors, the Chart Titles and Axes section to change the title and font, and the Grid Lines and Marks section to change those items.

Setting the chart title in the Chart Editor

Your changes are automatically saved like any other document in the Google app.

Update chart in Google Docs

When you’re done updating your chart in Google Sheets, return to your Google Docs document. You will see a Refresh button at the top right of the chart.

Refresh button on a chart in Google Docs

Click “Update” to display the changes you made to the chart in Google Sheets.

Updated chart in Google Docs

In the future, you can make additional updates to your chart as needed. Select the arrow at the top right of the graph and select “Open Source”. Make your changes in Google Sheets as you did initially, return to Google Docs and click “Update” on the chart.

RELATED: How to automatically generate charts in Google Sheets

Embedding a chart in Google Docs is a great way to show a picture of the data you’re explaining. For more information, see how to add flowcharts and diagrams or how to embed a Google Forms responsive chart in Google Docs.


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