Google docs have proved to be a great alternative to excel apps. When it comes to making graphs and charts, Google docs make the process easier and simple as few steps are involved. When making a graph with many items, it is pretty simple to use google docs to construct a graph or chart to represent the items. Google doc helps to reduce paperwork, monotony and errors involved in the making of graphs as it is automatic. Graphs and charts drawn using Google docs are more presentable and neat; this is because the graphs are not prone to hand-correcting and erasing. The spreadsheet’s graph also helps to save time as the user does not have to decide on the scale to use and draw the graph.
However, a new Google doc’s user may find it hard to use it and to construct a graph. Though it involves a short procedure, the steps involved may be difficult to follow for a person who has never used the software before.
Below are the steps involved in making graphs and charts using Google sheets.
Open Google sheets in chrome or any other web browser. Google sheet contains tabs on the top and empty columns and rows immediately after the tabs. These tabs are vital as they are used to modify, create, edit and save the data. After opening the spreadsheet, then click the “File” tab on the left-top side of the menu. After clicking the ‘File Tab,’ click “New” on the left-top side followed by “spreadsheet,” which is also under the “insert” tab. And then wait for the new sheet file to open on which you will add your details. The spreadsheet contains cells that are divided into columns and rows on which data is inputted.
This step is shown in the image below.
After creating an empty sheet and you have the data that you’d like to convert to a graph, you can now proceed to the next step.
This step involves inputting the data on the empty cells. The data are inputted in columns and rows. Column A usually contains the names of the data, and column B contains the values (arithmetical data). The leftmost column and the uppermost rows contain the label of the graph. In this step, carefulness should be observed to minimized errors associated with the recording of the data. The correctness of the graph mainly depends on the accuracy of the inputted values.
For example, in drawing a graph of student’s marks in a particular school, the inputted data may be as shown below.
After inputting all the data and checking they are all correct and accurate, the next procedure is highlighting the inputted data. When highlighting the data, make sure the data in the cells are highlighted, as only the highlighted data will appear on the graph. Also, if possible, highlight the cells with data only. This is helpful in confirming the number of rows and columns.
This is shown below using the above example.
After highlighting, click the “insert” tab on the top menu. The number of rows and columns are indicated, and the user can confirm before converting the data into a graph. If there are errors in the number of rows or columns, the user can edit the data before converting it to a graph. Therefore this step is important.
This step involves clicking on the “chart,” which appears after clicking the “insert” tab. After clicking the “chart,” a graph of the inputted data appears automatically on the screen, and a chart editor will appear on the right side. The uppermost labels on the rows will appear at the top of the graph as the title of the graph. The size of the graph on the spreadsheet screen can be adjusted to the desired size. The graph is presentable due to the favourable scale and spacing outputted. The chart editor is divided into two parts; the setup side and the customized side. The setup part, which is on the leftmost side of the chart editor, helps the user to change the naming of the graph, axis and also the spacing between one data to another.
This step involves changing the appearance of the graph. This is a feature contained in “chart editor.” The user changes the setting in the “chart type,” which is on the “chart editor,” and chooses the type of graph that fits best. The choice of the type of graph to use depends on the use of the output. For example, where the trend of a given data what to be determined, a line graph is used.
This setting has different types of graphs, and therefore, the user chooses the one that fits best.
In the case where the line graph is required, the user may change the chart type to “line chart,” and the graph will automatically change from a bar graph to a simple and accurate line graph. When a “line chart” is used, the output has sharp edges. When the smoothness of the graph is the factor to consider, then a “smooth line graph” type is used. “Smooth line chart” setting helps to smooth out the line and therefore to avoid connecting the graph to each dot in a straight line.
Below is an image showing a line graph of the “line chart” type of the above example.
An example of an output graph is made when the “smooth line chart” setting is used.
This is the next optional step. If the user of the Google sheet wants to edit the appearance of the graph, he or she clicks “customize,” which is on “chart editor.” By clicking the customization setting, the user is able to access different options and styles that can be used to make the graph more presentable and to beautify it. It can also be used to change the title of the graph and the naming of the axis.
This is known as an optional step because it is not necessary as the graph can be produced by skipping this step.