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Once you've entered data into your spreadsheet, it's a quick process to turn that data into a graph or chart that you can display on your spreadsheet. You could even save your chart or graph as an image, and insert that image into a document or presentation. Google Sheets includes a variety of chart and graph formats that you can insert into a spreadsheet, including line, bar, and map charts. Let's walk through the process of inserting a chart or graph into your Google Sheets spreadsheet based on data you've entered. I'll show you how using this solar panel sizing chart spreadsheet.
Before you can create a graph or chart, you'll need to enter the data that will be used for your graph in at least a couple rows and columns. It'll also help to label the data in your spreadsheet, if you have column and or row headers, before you create your chart. On this spreadsheet, I have two columns, one labeled Solar Panel Size and one labeled Watts per panel. I'd like to make a bar graph with each of these labels on one axis. It helps that I've already created the labels as column headers, because I can choose to use these headers as labels in my graph. Here's how I create a graph from this data.
From the spreadsheet, select the cells with the data to include in the chart or graph. I'll select all the data, including the column headers. Note that you don't have to select all the data, you can choose to select only the data you wish to graph. You can even select data in non-adjacent cells, by using the Control key on your PC or Command key on your Mac to select the cells you wish to include. Once you've selected the data you wish to include in your chart, select the chart icon in the menu bar, or choose Insert Chart from the menu. The Chart Editor box will appear. In the Start tab of the Chart Editor you'll be able to edit the range of cells to include in the chart.
You'll be able to select basic layout settings, and you'll be able to view which type of chart or graph you'd like to use. If you don't see the chart you need in the recommended charts, click the More link to select from a variety of chart types. You'll see that there are Line, Area, Column, Bar, Scatter, Pie, Map, Trend and even more types of charts available under the Charts tab. Going back to the Start tab, I'd like to use the vertical bar graph. So I'll go back to the recommended charts from my data, and I'll select this vertical bar graph representation.
Since I'd like to use the first row as headers I'll leave this, Use row 1 as headers box checked. I'd also like to use my first column as labels, rather than bars on the graph. So I'll put a check mark next to Use column A as labels. Now I can customize my chart by clicking the Customize tab. I'll edit the chart title, and I'll name it Panel Wattage by Size. I can use these editing tools, to format this text. I'm going to move the legend inside the graph, so I'll select Inside from the legend drop down.
I'll also give a title to the horizontal axis, calling it Panel Size square feet, and I'll format that text as well. Now I'll click Insert, and I'll add the chart to the spreadsheet. I can always do more edits later. Now, my chart is sitting right on top of my data. I'm going to resize my chart by holding and dragging the bottom right corner of the chart. I'll make it a little smaller. Then I'll move it to an empty spot in my spreadsheet by hovering over the top of the chart, until my cursor turns to a little hand icon, and I can move it and place it anywhere on my spreadsheet.
I'll make it a bit smaller, there. If I need to revise anything quickly, I can click once on the chart, and select the little pencil icon in the upper-left corner of the chart, to enter Quick Edit mode. I'll just quickly change the title of this chart, to a different color. Now once I click somewhere else on the spreadsheet, my editing tools disappear and only the chart is visible.
I can click again on the chart to make the edit and action menus visible. Let's take a quick look at the actions available in the Chart Action menu. Click the small arrow in the upper-right. Click Advanced Editing tools to go back to the Chart Editor and revise data or formatting for the chart. Click Delete chart, to completely delete the chart from the spreadsheet. Click Save image to download the graph or chart as a PNG file for use in other documents. Click Publish chart to get HTML code for publishing the chart as an image or an interactive chart on a web page or blog.
Click Copy chart to copy the chart to your clipboard, and Paste it into other Google docs or presentations, or click Move to own sheet to automatically paste the chart into its own sheet within the same spreadsheet file. I'll do that right now. In this view, the Action and Editing menu will appear under the Google Sheets menu bar. The Graphs and Charts tool in Google Sheets is quite powerful. With the customization options that are available, you can make a chart that will help display your data, and can be used in other presentation formats as well.
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