Introduction to Charts

Spreadsheet.com supports more than a dozen different types of charts, giving you more ways to visualize your data beyond the spreadsheet grid.

Like Kanban views and Gantt charts, Spreadsheet.com’s charts give you more ways to visualize your data beyond the spreadsheet grid. Adding charts to a workbook can help you identify important statistics and trends in your data that may not be obvious when only looking at numbers and provide a more viewer-friendly way to understand your data when you share workbooks with a wider audience.

For example, you may have a workbook with sales data broken down by product line and region with information like costs, profits, and dates recorded for each record. A pie chart or column chart could help you visualize total profits by region or see which product line is performing best. Or, a line chart could help you visualize profit growth over some period of time.

Or maybe you have a workbook for your own stock portfolio that tracks multiple investment accounts. An area chart could help you visualize returns in each account relative to one another, or a 100% stacked bar chart could help you visualize the share of your portfolio that each individual stock makes up.

How to Create a New Chart

You can create a new chart in any Sheet view or in the sheet portion of a Gantt view. Click the New chart button in the toolbar above your spreadsheet.

Create-New-Chart-Icon.png

Or, select Insert > Chart from the top menu bar.

Create-New-Chart-Menu.png

Either option will open the Chart settings dialog on the right side of your window, from where you can specify the chart type and select data to include.

For more information on creating new charts, including navigating the Chart settings dialog, selecting data, and changing your new chart’s appearance, see our article on creating a new chart.

Supported Chart Types

Spreadsheet.com supports more than a dozen different types of chart allowing you to visualize categorical data, numerical data, time series data, and more. Learn more about each of the chart types by clicking on the headers below:

Pie Charts

  • Pie charts: Pie charts are circular graphs divided into “slices”, where each slice is sized proportionally to its data’s share of the data as a whole. Pie charts show the relationships between the whole of a variable and its parts.
  • Donut charts: Donut charts are similar to pie charts, but have a hollow center.

Pie-Chart.png

Line Charts

  • Line charts: Line charts are two-axis graphs displaying a series of data points with straight line segments connecting them. Line charts are used to display time series data and show changes in time for continuous variables and show separate lines for each series.
  • Smooth line charts: Smooth line charts are similar to line charts, but use smooth line segments to connect data points as opposed to straight ones.

Line-Chart-Two-Axes.png

Column Charts

  • Column charts: Column charts are two-axis charts that show rectangular columns with heights proportional to the data they represent. Qualitative groups (like months, demographic groups, or product categories) are represented on the x-axis, and quantitative data (like quantities, costs, or expenses) is shown on the y-axis. Column charts show separate rectangular columns for each quantitative variable.
  • Stacked column charts: Like column charts, stacked column charts are two-axis charts that show rectangular columns with heights proportional to the data they represent. In stacked column charts, all quantitative variables are stacked over a single rectangular column.
  • 100% stacked column charts: 100% stacked column charts serve a similar purpose to stacked column charts, but show quantitative values as proportions of the whole with the y-axis fixed at a 100% scale. In these charts, all of the columns will be the same height.

Column-Chart-Two-Axes.png

Area Charts

  • Area charts: Like line charts, area charts are two-axis graphs displaying a series of data points with straight line segments connecting them. Unlike line charts, the space underneath the line segments is shaded.
  • Stacked area charts: Like area charts, stacked area charts are two-axis graphs displaying a series of data points with straight lines connecting them, the space underneath of which is shaded. In stacked area charts, all quantitative variables are stacked over a single line and displayed as an accumulated total, instead of showing lines side-by-side or overlapping.
  • 100% stacked area charts: 100% stacked area charts serve a similar purpose to stacked area charts, but show quantitative values as propositions of the whole with the y-axis fixed at a 100% scale. In these charts, the entire chart area is shaded.

Area-Chart-Two-Axes.png

Bar Charts

  • Bar charts: Bar charts are two-axis charts that show rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the data they represent. Qualitative groups (like months, demographic groups, or product categories) are represented on the y-axis, and quantitative data (like quantities, costs, or expenses) is shown on the x-axis. Bar charts show separate rectangular bars for each quantitative variable.
  • Stacked bar charts: Like bar charts, stacked bar charts are two-axis charts that show rectangular bars with lengths proportional to the data they represent. In stacked bar charts, all quantitative variables are stacked across a single rectangular bar.
  • 100% stacked bar charts: 100% stacked bar charts serve a similar purpose to stacked bar charts but show quantitative values as proportions of the whole with the x-axis fixed at a 100% scale. In these charts, all of the bars will be the same length.

Bar-Chart-Two-Axes.png

Combo Charts

  • Combo charts: Combo charts are two-axis charts that display one or more column charts with one or more line charts overlaid, allowing you to visualize multiple series in different ways.

Combo-Chart-Line-and-Column.png

How do I choose a type of chart to use?

Often, the same data can be visualized in multiple ways, and with Spreadsheet.com offering over a dozen different types of charts, there’s no shortage of options for you to choose from.

Data can be described in many terms, whether it's categorical or quantitative, discrete or continuous, or more. Understanding your data and the purpose for your visualization is the key to understanding the type of chart to include in your workbook.

If you want to visualize time series data and see how one or more variables change over time, consider a line chart, area chart, or combo chart. If you want to visualize differences in values or quantities across categories, consider a pie chart, column chart, or bar chart.

If you don't get it right the first time, don't worry – Spreadsheet.com makes it easy to change an existing chart's type in just a few clicks.

Read on to learn more about creating a new chart, as well as managing your existing charts. Or, click through the headers above to learn more about each of the more than a dozen supported chart types in Spreadsheet.com