A line chart shows a trend of how values change over time. It can be quite handy in checking whether a company is growing or failing, particularly publicly traded companies. It’s the ideal graph or chart to visually display data changes over a period of time.
So let’s learn how to make a line graph in google sheets! It only really takes a few clicks and you can customize which header or category goes where in the line chart for good measure.
Why Make a Line Graph in Google Sheets
If you wish to find trends in data over time, like a decade or so, you tend to use a line graph to map it all out. In regards to why you should use a Google Sheets line graph or chart in particular, it’s because electronic spreadsheets are much more scalable and editable than doing it graphically.
If you have changes in data, you merely have to change the data instead of recreate the entire graph itself in Photoshop or some other graphics editing tool in order to reflect such changes. You can also use the same graph template to map out other pieces of similar data.
Furthermore, if you wish to add entries onto the line graph to include an additional month, year, or decade, you can do so with the greatest of ease on electronic spreadsheets like Google Sheets.
How to Make a Line Graph in Google Sheets
There are two types of line graph you can make in Google Sheets—the single line graph and multi-line graph. The single line graph charts the course of a single category over time, while multi-line graphs compares the ascent or descent of multiple categories in the same time frame.
Making a Single Line Graph
Step 1: Open a new spreadsheet and make a table that you can turn into a line graph (anything involving changes over time).
Step 2: Input some data you can chart or put into a line graph. In this case, we got our data from Macrotrends.net regarding World Wrestling Entertainment Revenue 2010-2022.
Step 3: Go to the “Insert” menu and select “Chart“. This feature will turn your small table of data into a line graph or chart.
Step 4: The subsequent chart should look like this. Google Sheets has the ability to pick the right chart or graph for your data, and in this case it picked that it’s best presented as a line graph.
Step 5: You can move the chart around to make the other table of information visible and select its individual elements for editing later.
Making a Multi-Line Graph
Step 1: Let’s now try making a multi-line graph comparing the growth of different companies over time. Let’s add the revenue data of Amazon, Apple, and McDonald’s over the same time period.
Step 2: Again, go to the “Insert” menu and select “Chart” to summon the “Chart editor“.
Step 3: As you can see in the resulting chart, neither the WWE nor McDonald’s can even compare to the behemoths that are Amazon and Apple.
We need the likes of Tesla and Microsoft in order to have companies that can compete with those gigantic conglomerates that eclipsed WWE and McDonald’s!
Now we have data we can actually use among comparable categories!
- Microsoft, the one with the blue line, has been steady in its incline compared to its peers.
- Apple had risen the highest in most of the 2010s, even after the death of Steve Jobs in 2011, with it rising up until 2015, but it continues to grow until 2021.
- Amazon overtook Apple significantly in revenue back in 2019 and it skyrocketed during the start of the pandemic.
- Finally, Tesla has its own upward trajectory like Amazon but not in the same magnitude as the three other multinational conglomerates.
Factors for Consideration
Basically, you mostly need to just select the information, go to the “Insert” menu, and then select “Chart” in order to make a line graph. The “Chart editor” tends to select the best chart or graph type for your table of data. The simplest ones tend to end up as a line chart.
Otherwise, on the “Chart editor”, select the “Setup” tab and select the “Line” charts. This will turn your data into a line chart. You might also need to assign where your headers are supposed to go vertically or horizontally.
- Vertex42, “Creating a Line Graph in Google Sheets“, YouTube, August 15, 2017
- Aaron Weis, “How to make a line graph in Google Sheets“, YouTube, May 6, 2020
- Suay Çakırca, “How to Create Line Graphs in Google Sheets“, UserGuiding.com, September 24, 2021
- Sandy Writtenhouse, “How to Make a Line Graph in Google Sheets“, HowtoGeek.com, November 17, 2021