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Step Chart in Google Sheets – A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Do you want to learn how to create a step chart in Google Sheets but don’t know how to go about it? Well, you’re in luck today, as this Google Sheets tutorial has all you’re looking for and more.

Google Sheets has proven time and time again why it is a game changer for businesses and individuals. Thanks to its easy and accessible platform for managing, organizing, and analyzing data, it’s easy to see why Google Sheets is such a brilliant tool. 

While Google Sheets is helpful for many things, one of its most unique features is the ability to create charts that visually represent your data set and bring clarity to complex information. 

If you always want to take your data presentation and visualization to the next level, leveraging Google Sheets step charts will be an excellent place to start. 

This Google Sheets tutorial will provide a step-by-step tutorial for creating a step chart. You should be able to quickly turn your data into a clean, clear, and concise visual representation after reading today’s guide.

Let’s start with the basics.

What is a step chart in Google Sheets?

In a line chart, you typically have data points linked together by lines using the shortest distance possible. On the flip side, a step chart shows the connection between two data points via distinct horizontal and vertical transitions of lines. A look at the step chart in Google Sheets shows a step-like progression of the graph, which is where its name originates. 

What makes a step chart different from other graphical representations is that it makes it possible for users to represent the change in data along with the frequency of the changes over time. To put things simply, while the vertical axis displays the change in data, the horizontal axis represents the consistency of the detailed data. Unfortunately, a line chart cannot capture this rise, drop, or consistency over time, which is why many people prefer the step chart in Google Sheets.

And just so you know, step charts have many use cases, including being used to represent changes in stock prices, inflation changes, tax rates and their interests, and more. 

To better understand the step chart in Google Sheets, we will go over a step-by-step guide that teaches you how to create a step chart in Google Sheets. Let’s get started, shall we?

Creating a step chart in Google Sheets

Before we show you how to create a step chart in Google Sheets, we need to have some sample data. For this step chart tutorial, we will use the following sample data. 

Step Chart in Google Sheets - A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Now that we have our sample data, we are ready to get down to the business of creating a step chart. Here is how to go about it: 

Step 1: Highlight the data in your spreadsheet

The first thing we want to do is highlight the data featured in our spreadsheet.

Step 2: Go to Insert > Chart

With the data now highlighted, head to the “Insert” tab and click on the option for Chart

Step Chart in Google Sheets - A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Step 3: Go to Setup > Chart type > Stepped Area Chart

By default, Google Sheets takes the data highlighted in your spreadsheet and creates a column chart. But since we aren’t interested in creating a column chart, we will need to make changes using the Chart editor located on the extreme right of your spreadsheet. 

To change the default chart from a column chart to a step chart, we need to click on the dropdown option below “Chart type” and select step chart, it’s that easy. Here is a screenshot showing you how to do that. 

Step Chart in Google Sheets - A Step-by-Step Tutorial

If you followed the steps exactly as we described above, you should have a chart that looks something like this: 

Step 4: Add a Title to your Step Chart

Having switched from a column chart to a stepped area chart, which is what today’s guide is all about, the next thing we want to do is customize our step chart to give it a distinct look. For this tutorial, we want to show you how to modify the chart title. From the above screenshot, you’ll notice that the chart title says “Connecticut Branch, Alabama Branch, and New York Branch. 

We want to change that to “ Branch Quarterly Results.” This gives a better representation of our step chart. Besides changing the chart title, we will also change the text color to red, bolden it and align it to the center. Here is how to make these changes. 

  • Head over to the chart editor on the extreme right of your spreadsheet. Click on the “Customize” option and select the option for “Chart & axis title.”
  • After selecting the option for “Chart and axis title,” you should find an option for Chart title and a text box below. That is where we want to type in our chart title, “Branch Quarterly Results.”
  • With the Chart title changed. We now want to format it. The first thing we need to do is change the font via the label “Title font.” We will use “WIDE” for our sample chart. 
  • After changing the title font, we need to also tweak the text size via the label “Title font size.”
  • Again, we need to bolden the text, align the chart title to the center and choose a text title color. For this guide, we will use “RED.”

After making all the changes we suggested, your step chart should look something like this: 

As you can see from the above screenshot, a line chart and a stepped area chart look pretty much the same. The only difference with the step chart is the shaded area. Thankfully, the shaded area gives more depth to your chart. 


Creating a step area chart in Google Sheets has to be one of the easiest things to do, and in today’s tutorial, we showed you the step-by-step guide on how to create a step chart in Google Sheets. 

Whether you have a ton of experience with Google Sheets or this is your first time using the tool, rest assured that our tutorial has everything there is to know about creating a step chart. And in case you are looking for more exciting Google Sheets tutorials, you’re welcome to explore our blog, as we have plenty of Google Sheets tutorials you’ll love. 

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