How-To

How to Insert and Edit a Chart in Google Docs

If you ever create a document, whether for work or school and think it could benefit from a visual, you do have a handy way to insert a chart in Google Docs. Without a lot of effort, you can pop in a chart, add your own data, and make a few adjustments to its appearance.

You can, of course, insert a chart you’ve created in Google Sheets already. But for those last-minute, on-the-spot pie charts or bar graphs, take advantage of the tools Google Docs provides.

Insert a Chart in Google Docs

Head to Google Docs, open your document, and place your cursor where you’d like the chart. Then follow these simple steps.

  1. Click Insert from the menu.
  2. Move to Chart to display the pop-out menu.
  3. Select from Bar, Column, Line, or Pie. Here is where you can pick From Sheets to use a chart you’ve already created and saved in Google Sheets.

Insert Chart in Google Docs

And that’s it! You now have a nice chart in your document, ready for the details you want to use.

Add Your Chart Data

You don’t have to have a lot of data for your chart. It can even be details you gathered on the fly. And it’s easy to add your data.

When you first insert the chart, you’ll see a pop-up message at the bottom for Chart Inserted: Edit in Sheets. If you click Edit in Sheets, you’re directed right to the chart in Google Sheets in a new tab to add your data.

Chart Inserted Edit In Sheets

Now that message only appears briefly. So if you miss it, don’t worry, there’s another way to add your chart details.

Select the chart and you’ll see an arrow display on the top right of it. Click the arrow and pick Open Source.

Chart Open Source

A new tab will open displaying your chart and example data in Sheets. Just use the cells at the top to add your information and you’ll see the chart update immediately below it.

Edit Chart Data in Sheets

If you’d like to make in-depth changes to your chart, you can do so here as well. Select the chart below the data, click the three dots on the top right of it, and pick Edit Chart. This opens the Chart Editor on the right where you can edit the title, change the chart type, add a series, and more.

Edit Chart in Sheets

When you finish adding data or making edits, go back to your document in Google Docs and you’ll see an Update button on your chart. (You may have to select the chart to see the button.) Click Update and you’ll have your updated, data-filled chart.

Update a Chart in Google Docs

Any time after your initial data input, you can follow these same steps to edit the data in your chart.

Change the Chart Appearance

While the charts you receive in Google Docs are fine and dandy, you might want to change the appearance. Maybe you want to use your company’s colors, adjust the size, or make it brighter.

  1. Select the chart.
  2. When the floating toolbar displays on the bottom left of it, click the Image Options button (three dots).
  3. Select from Size & Rotation, Adjustments, or All Image Options.
  4. This opens the right-hand sidebar to the option you select. From there, you can make any changes you like to the appearance of your chart.
  5. The adjustments you make apply to your chart immediately. Just close the sidebar when you finish by clicking the X on the top right of the sidebar.

Chart Image Options in Google Docs

Insert a Quick Chart in Google Docs for a Great Visual

Sometimes a simple chart is all your document needs to make it more professional or useful to the reader. So the next time you create a document in Google Docs, consider adding a quick chart!

If you’d like to take your charts and graphs a bit further, take a look at these add-ons for creating diagrams in your Google Docs documents.

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