In the demonstration below we will show how to insert a column chart with error bars in Google Sheets.
1. Highlight the data to be included
Select the data to be included on the chart by clicking and dragging across the cells.
Alternatively you can select all data in a table by clicking any cell in the set and using the keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + A (Cmd ⌘ + A on Mac).
If your data includes headers you can include these which will reflect on the chart labels.
In our example we will highlight all cells in the data set including the header row.
2. In the file menu select “Insert” followed by “Chart”
From the file menu at the top of the display click Insert to display the menu. From the menu click Chart.
3. Select the “Customize” tab in the Chart editor and click “Series”
A chart will appear in the middle of the display. On the right hand side of the window the Chart editor menu will display.
Click the Series label
4. Select the checkbox next to “Error bars” in the “Series” dropdown menu
The Series dropdown menu is now expanded, scroll down and click the checkbox next to the Error bars label to tick it.
5. Set the Error bar type and Value input
The default error bar type applied is Percentage at a value of 10. Click the Type drop down box and it will present you with four options:
None: If selected, no error bars will display and Google Sheets will revert the state to before the “Error bars” checkbox was ticked.
Constant: Displays error bars at the top of the bars in the column chart to show the upper and lower range of the data where the Value is taken as a numeric value. For example if 25 was entered in the Value input box the error bars will show the lower range of the column value - 25. The upper range would show at +25.
Percentage: Displays error bars at the top of the bars in the column chart to show the upper and lower range of the stated value in percent. For example if 10 is entered in the Value input the error bars will show the range value from 90% to 110%. This is because the lower range of 100% is 90% (-10%) and the upper range is 110% (+10%)
Standard deviation: This option will display the error bars in the centre of the columns, the value of the standard deviation is entered in the Value input box.
In our example we will set the type to Percentage and input 20 in the Value input box.
6. The error bars are displayed on the column chart.
The error bars will display as an overlay on the columns in the chart.
In our example the error bars display the upper and lower range to the value of 20% (+20% / -20%).