How to Create a Column Chart in Google Sheets

Learn a vital yet simple aspect of navigating Google Sheets.

Table of Contents
  1. How to format your data for a column chart
  2. How to create a column chart
  3. How to create a stacked column chart
  4. How to create a 100% stacked column chart
  5. How to create a grouped column chart
  6. A sample sheet to check
Table of contents
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
  1. How to format your data for a column chart
  2. How to create a column chart
  3. How to create a stacked column chart
  4. How to create a 100% stacked column chart
  5. How to create a grouped column chart
  6. A sample sheet to check

Unsure which chart type to use? Click here to find the right chart for your data and the ideas that you want to convey.

Column charts consist of rectangles representing the values of different items or even the value of a metric over time. Column charts are best used for comparison of the values of a certain metric over different items. 

Google Sheets offers three types of column charts: the simple column chart, the stacked column chart, and the 100% stacked column chart. This tutorial is a straightforward guide to inserting a column chart in Google Sheets with some notes on the type of data that it requires. 

How to format your data for a column chart 

The data for a simple column chart needs to have the following columns:

  • First column: the label for each column
  • Second column: the height (value) of each column

Each data row corresponds to a column in a column chart. 

For stacked column charts, you need to have the following data columns:

  • First column: column labels
  • Each succeeding column represents a column in the chart, with each value for each row denoting the individual contributions to the total column in the chart

You can have grouped columns in a column chart as well, by using the following scheme:

  • First column: individual columns
  • Each succeeding column represents a grouping of columns

As you can see, this has the same data format as for the stacked column charts. To create a grouped column chart, select Column chart as chart type. 

How to create a column chart

Here are the steps in creating a column chart from an existing dataset in Google Sheets:

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

Spreadsheet Data
The dataset to be visualized, selected

Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert Chart Option
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted

Step 3: The selected chart type is not a column chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the Column chart, and click it. 

Chart Editor Dashboard
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Column chart selected

Step 4: We now have a column chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor, then click Chart axis & titles

Chart editor-customize
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.

Step 5: If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. In the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart. 

Editing Chart title
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.

Step 6: Here are some options for modifying the title of the chart:

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from, such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from size 10 to 36. You can also specify a value beyond the given options. Lastly, you can choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title, go to Title format and click the Alignment option. Click the Center option. 

We now have the following chart!

Final Chart
Column chart with title and axis labels

Click here to learn how to add the title or axis labels, as well as how to change the colors.

How to create a stacked column chart

Unlike the typical column chart which we discussed in the previous section, a stacked column chart also visualizes the components of a certain quantity, thus adding another dimension to your column chart. This means that the dataset should have multiple columns of data. 

Before you follow these steps, make sure that your data also contains the breakdown of the values of the components.

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

Spreadsheet Data
The dataset to be visualized, selected

Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert Chart Option
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted

Step 3: The selected chart type is not a column chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the Stacked column chart option and click it. 

Chart Type Selector
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Stacked column chart selected

Step 4: We now have a column chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor and click Chart axis & titles

Customization Options
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.

Step 5: If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. In the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart. 

Chart Titles Options
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2016-2020.

Step 6: Here are some options for modifying the title of the chart: 

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from a range of 10 to 36. You can also specify a value beyond the given options. Lastly, you can choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title, go to Title format and click the Alignment option. Then click the Center option. 

We now have the following chart!

Finished Chart
Stacked column chart with title and axis labels

Click here to learn how to add the title, axis labels, or change the colors.

How to create a 100% stacked column chart

Sometimes you’re not interested in the total quantity but instead with the differences in the composition of certain quantities, either over time or among different items. For this, a 100% stacked column chart is sufficient. A 100% stacked column chart only differs from a stacked column chart visually: the stacked columns are of the same length. This highlights the differences in the composition of each stacked column. 

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

Spreadsheet data
The dataset to be visualized, selected

Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert Chart Button
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted

Step 3: The selected chart type is not a column chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the 100% stacked column chart option, and click it. 

Chart Type Options
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, 100% stacked column chart selected

Step 4: We now have a column chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor, then click Chart axis & titles

Chart Customization Options
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.

Step 5: If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. In the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart. 

Chart Title Editing
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.

Step 6: Here are some options in modifying the title of the chart: 

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from a range of 10 to 36. You can also specify a value beyond the given options. Lastly, you can choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title go to Title format, then click the Alignment option. Click the Center option. 

We now have the following chart!

Final Chart
100% stacked column chart with title and axis labels

Click here to learn how to add the title, axis labels, or change the colors.

How to create a grouped column chart

There is a “hidden” type of column chart in Google Sheets, which is the grouped column chart. This is not explicitly listed under the Chart type option in the Chart editor

Unlike a typical column chart which we had in the previous section, a grouped column chart groups together different but similar or related columns. This allows you to also make comparisons within these groups besides simply comparing the columns. 

Before you follow the steps, make sure that your data also contains the breakdown of the values of the columns that you want to group together. 

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

Spreadsheet data
The dataset to be visualized, selected

Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted

Step 3: The selected chart type is not a column chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the Column chart and click it.

Chart editor
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Column chart selected

Step 4: We now have a grouped column chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor and click Chart axis & titles

Chart & axis titles option highlighted.
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.

Step 5: If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. In the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart.

Editing Chart title
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2016-2020.

Step 6: Here are some options for modifying the title of the chart:

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from a range of 10 to 36. You can also specify a value beyond the given options. Lastly, you can choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title, go to Title format and click the Alignment option. Then click the Center option.

We now have the following chart!

Final Chart
Grouped column chart with chart title and axes labels. 

A sample sheet to check

If you got a bit lost, or just want to check if you are doing it right, here is a sample sheet that you can open to see how they work:

Column Chart Sample Sheet v2 

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

April 30, 2021

Google Sheet spreadsheet

Unsure which chart type to use? Click here to find the right chart for your data and the ideas that you want to convey.

Column charts consist of rectangles representing the values of different items or even the value of a metric over time. Column charts are best used for comparison of the values of a certain metric over different items. 

Google Sheets offers three types of column charts: the simple column chart, the stacked column chart, and the 100% stacked column chart. This tutorial is a straightforward guide to inserting a column chart in Google Sheets with some notes on the type of data that it requires. 

How to format your data for a column chart 

The data for a simple column chart needs to have the following columns:

  • First column: the label for each column
  • Second column: the height (value) of each column

Each data row corresponds to a column in a column chart. 

For stacked column charts, you need to have the following data columns:

  • First column: column labels
  • Each succeeding column represents a column in the chart, with each value for each row denoting the individual contributions to the total column in the chart

You can have grouped columns in a column chart as well, by using the following scheme:

  • First column: individual columns
  • Each succeeding column represents a grouping of columns

As you can see, this has the same data format as for the stacked column charts. To create a grouped column chart, select Column chart as chart type. 

How to create a column chart

Here are the steps in creating a column chart from an existing dataset in Google Sheets:

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

Spreadsheet Data
The dataset to be visualized, selected

Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert Chart Option
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted

Step 3: The selected chart type is not a column chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the Column chart, and click it. 

Chart Editor Dashboard
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Column chart selected

Step 4: We now have a column chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor, then click Chart axis & titles

Chart editor-customize
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.

Step 5: If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. In the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart. 

Editing Chart title
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.

Step 6: Here are some options for modifying the title of the chart:

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from, such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from size 10 to 36. You can also specify a value beyond the given options. Lastly, you can choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title, go to Title format and click the Alignment option. Click the Center option. 

We now have the following chart!

Final Chart
Column chart with title and axis labels

Click here to learn how to add the title or axis labels, as well as how to change the colors.

How to create a stacked column chart

Unlike the typical column chart which we discussed in the previous section, a stacked column chart also visualizes the components of a certain quantity, thus adding another dimension to your column chart. This means that the dataset should have multiple columns of data. 

Before you follow these steps, make sure that your data also contains the breakdown of the values of the components.

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

Spreadsheet Data
The dataset to be visualized, selected

Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert Chart Option
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted

Step 3: The selected chart type is not a column chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the Stacked column chart option and click it. 

Chart Type Selector
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Stacked column chart selected

Step 4: We now have a column chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor and click Chart axis & titles

Customization Options
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.

Step 5: If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. In the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart. 

Chart Titles Options
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2016-2020.

Step 6: Here are some options for modifying the title of the chart: 

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from a range of 10 to 36. You can also specify a value beyond the given options. Lastly, you can choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title, go to Title format and click the Alignment option. Then click the Center option. 

We now have the following chart!

Finished Chart
Stacked column chart with title and axis labels

Click here to learn how to add the title, axis labels, or change the colors.

How to create a 100% stacked column chart

Sometimes you’re not interested in the total quantity but instead with the differences in the composition of certain quantities, either over time or among different items. For this, a 100% stacked column chart is sufficient. A 100% stacked column chart only differs from a stacked column chart visually: the stacked columns are of the same length. This highlights the differences in the composition of each stacked column. 

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

Spreadsheet data
The dataset to be visualized, selected

Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert Chart Button
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted

Step 3: The selected chart type is not a column chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the 100% stacked column chart option, and click it. 

Chart Type Options
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, 100% stacked column chart selected

Step 4: We now have a column chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor, then click Chart axis & titles

Chart Customization Options
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.

Step 5: If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. In the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart. 

Chart Title Editing
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.

Step 6: Here are some options in modifying the title of the chart: 

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from a range of 10 to 36. You can also specify a value beyond the given options. Lastly, you can choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title go to Title format, then click the Alignment option. Click the Center option. 

We now have the following chart!

Final Chart
100% stacked column chart with title and axis labels

Click here to learn how to add the title, axis labels, or change the colors.

How to create a grouped column chart

There is a “hidden” type of column chart in Google Sheets, which is the grouped column chart. This is not explicitly listed under the Chart type option in the Chart editor

Unlike a typical column chart which we had in the previous section, a grouped column chart groups together different but similar or related columns. This allows you to also make comparisons within these groups besides simply comparing the columns. 

Before you follow the steps, make sure that your data also contains the breakdown of the values of the columns that you want to group together. 

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

Spreadsheet data
The dataset to be visualized, selected

Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted

Step 3: The selected chart type is not a column chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the Column chart and click it.

Chart editor
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Column chart selected

Step 4: We now have a grouped column chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor and click Chart axis & titles

Chart & axis titles option highlighted.
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.

Step 5: If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. In the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart.

Editing Chart title
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2016-2020.

Step 6: Here are some options for modifying the title of the chart:

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from a range of 10 to 36. You can also specify a value beyond the given options. Lastly, you can choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title, go to Title format and click the Alignment option. Then click the Center option.

We now have the following chart!

Final Chart
Grouped column chart with chart title and axes labels. 

A sample sheet to check

If you got a bit lost, or just want to check if you are doing it right, here is a sample sheet that you can open to see how they work:

Column Chart Sample Sheet v2 

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