An area chart is a brilliant and powerful visualization tool. It is capable of conveying data patterns and trends over time.
What’s unique about this chart is that it plots data points as a series of connected points and fills the area between the line and the x-axis. An area chart, in this case, provides a unique opportunity to see the magnitude of data changes while allowing you to compare multiple data sets.
Whether your job entails tracking sales figures, market trends, or any other type of data, rest assured that creating an area chart in Google Sheets will allow you to get better insights from your data.
In today’s Google Sheets tutorial, we will show you a step-by-step guide on how you can create an area chart in Google Sheets. Read on for all the details.
Create the data
Having provided you with some background on area charts, it’s time to jump into the practical aspect of this guide.
To be able to create an area chart in Google Sheets, you’ll need to have a set of data. For this guide, we will use the following sample data.
Creating an Area Chart in Google Sheets
With the data above, we can now create an area chart. Read on as we break down all the steps.
Step 1: highlight the range of data you want to visualize.
The first thing you want to do when creating an area chart in Google Sheets is to highlight the range of data you want to visualize.
Step 2: Go to Insert > Chart
With your range of data now highlighted, head to the “Insert” menu and click on Chart.
Step 3: Go to Setup > Chart type > Area
Keep in mind that the chart that will be created from executing the above step isn’t an area chart by default. And since today’s guide is about creating an area chart in Google Sheets, we need to head over to the Chart editor on the extreme right of our spreadsheet to make a few changes. To change the default chart created by Google Sheets to an area chart, you’ll need to click on the “Setup” tab. On the drop-down box below Chart type, you’ll find a list of different chart types. Scroll down until you find the Area chart, and click it.
If you followed the last steps as we highlighted, you should have an area chart that looks something like this:
Step 4: Add a Title to your Area Chart
But we aren’t done yet. Now that we have made changes to include an area chart in our spreadsheet, we want to take things up a notch by adding a title to the chart. To do this, you want to click on the “Customize” tab in the Chart editor, then select the option for “Chart axis and titles.”
Since we intend to add a chart title to the area chart, we must ensure that the drop-down box reflects that. After choosing the Chart title, you’ll notice a text box below that option. There, you’ll type the appropriate title for the chart. For this guide, we will use “Annual sales.”
Step 5: Formatting the title of Your Area Chart
If you intend to tweak the title, here are some modifying tips to guide you:
- To tweak the font of our title, we need to click on the drop-down box under the label “Title font.” You’ll see a list of 12 different fonts, including the likes of Arial, Verdana, and Georgia. So choose what works for you.
- After changing the font style, you can also change the size of the title, which is also easy. All you need to do is click on the dropdown box below the label “Title font size” You’ll be presented with an option to choose from (10-36). Also, keep in mind that you have the option to choose a size beyond the given option. But if you don’t want to go through all the hassles, you can simply select the “Auto” option. By choosing this option, Google Sheets will automatically choose a font size that fits your chart.
- We love the idea of “center aligning” the title. To do this, you need to go to the “Title format” option and select the opinion for Alignment. After that, you can click on the “Center align option.
If you did everything exactly as we detailed out above, you should have a chart that looks something like this:
How to create a stacked area chart in Google Sheets
While we have shown you how to create an area chat in Google Sheets, we want to add some depth to today’s guide. Although an area chart provides you with remarkable insight into your data, you can get even better insight with a stacked area chart. For those just learning about a stacked area chart, it would interest you to know that a stacked area chart helps to visualize the components of a certain quantity. To this end, it adds a more robust dimension to to your area chart.
For this tutorial, we will use the same sample data we used in our earlier example.
Here, check out how to create a stacked area chart in Google Sheets:
Step 1: Highlight all the values featured in your spreadsheet.
Step 2: With your data highlighted, you want to head to the “Insert” tab and select Chart.
Step 3: Go to Setup > Chart type > Area
You’ll notice that the chart type created by Google Sheets isn’t a stacked area chart. So we need to change this using the Chart editor located on the extreme right of your spreadsheet.
To change the default chart generated by Google Sheets, you need to click on the Setup tab. Chart type can be selected from the drop-down box below. You’ll see a list of different chart types, scroll down and select the Stacked area chart.
If you did exactly as we showed you above, you’d have a chart that looks something like this:
Step 4: Adding a Title to a Stacked Chart
Having created our stacked chart, as you can see above, it’s time to add a title to our chart. To do this, head to the “Customize” tab and select the option for “Chart axis and titles.”
Creating a chart title adds extra depth to your chart. To do this, you only need to enter the text in the box provided. For this tutorial, we will use the “Annual sales 2016 to 2021.”
Step 5: Formatting title of the Stacked Chart
After creating our stacked chart, we need to do some minor tweaking of the title. Here is how to go about that:
- We want to start off by changing the font of the title. To do this, we need to click on the drop-down box below the label “Title font.” You’ll be presented with different font styles to choose from. Choose the one that works for you.
- To tweak the font size, click on the drop-down box below the label “Title font size.” While you can select the font size that works for you, you can also choose the Auto option if you want Google Sheets to choose a font size that fits your chart.
- We love how the title looks when it is center aligned. To do this, head to the Title format option and select Alignment. From the drop-down option, choose the Center option.
After executing all the steps highlighted above, your stacked chart should look something like this:
Creating an area chart in Google Sheets may be a little challenging, especially if you haven’t done it before. But in today’s tutorial, we showed you a step-by-step guide on how to create an area chart in Google Sheets without sweating. We even went on to show you how to create a stacked chart in Google Sheets.
Hope you enjoyed every bit of this tutorial. Let us know what you think in the comment section.
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