How to☝️Make a Histogram in Google Sheets

To make a histogram in Google Sheets, select your data, go to the Insert menu, and click on Chart to insert a chart into your document. Then navigate to Setup in the Chart editor menu, tap on the Chart types, and choose Histogram.

Stick around so you don’t miss any important steps on how to create a histogram in Google Sheets. You will also learn how to format your data before creating a histogram and how to edit and personalize the histogram to suit your needs.

How to Format Your Data for a Histogram Chart

The first step in making a histogram in Google Sheets is to format your data. To do this, you’ll need to create a column or columns of data. Let’s take a look at how to do it.

  1. In your Google Sheets spreadsheet, click on the cell where you want to input the header for your data set.
  2. Type the header title.

How to Format Your Data for a Histogram Chart

  1. Go down to the next row.
  2. Enter your values, going down the column with each new value.

How to Format Your Data for a Histogram Chart in Google Sheets

Voila! Your data set is ready. Create more columns as needed to incorporate all your data. In our example, we will use only one column of data.

How to Make a Histogram in Google Sheets (Step by Step)

Histograms are graphical representations of data and are similar to bar charts except that they use ranges of values (called buckets) instead of bars representing individual data points. Let’s jump right in and see how it’s done!

  1. Select your data.
  2. Navigate to the Insert menu.
  3. Choose the Chart option.

How to Make a Histogram in Google Sheets

  1. Go to the Setup section in the Chart editor menu.
  2. Click on Chart type.
  3. Pick the Histogram chart type from the Other section.

Chart Editor

Piece of cake! You have quickly and successfully made a histogram for your data!

Histogram

Notice how the histogram has grouped together similar scores and is representing them by group (or bucket). For example, two scores out of the total dataset fall within the bucket of 40–51 points, and five scores out of the total fall within the bucket of 84–95 points.

How to Customize a Histogram

In this section, you will learn how to customize your histogram according to various criteria. Let’s get started!

The Setup Tab

First, you need to double-click on the histogram and go to the Setup menu as shown below. In the Setup menu, explore and test the various options to see how you want your histogram to look.

The Setup Tab

Change Histogram Bin Range

The data range is the set of values that you want to use to create the histogram. If you would like to change the range after creating a histogram, you can do so at any time.

  1. Click on the grid icon in the Data range section.
  2. Enter the range you want to display.
  3. Press OK.

Change Histogram Bin Range

Easy as ABC! You can follow these steps to adjust the data range for the histogram whenever necessary.

The histogram

Expand Histogram with Additional Series

You can add columns to the histogram to compare more than one set of data at a time. Let’s take a look at the steps below to see how it works.

  1. Navigate to the Series section and click on the Add Series option.
  2. Pick from the list of series available. In this case, select Scores.

Expand Histogram with Additional Series

As simple as that! The new series will be included on the histogram.

The histogram in Google Sheets

Reorient Histogram Data

With the Switch rows / columns option, you can manage data that contains several columns or rows of values. Imagine that you have two columns of data, such as the following:

Reorient Histogram Data

  1. In the Setup menu, check the box beside the Switch rows / columns option.

The Switch rows or columns option

And the result is below!

The Data on the Chart

This is especially useful if your data is written in rows rather than columns, as this function will allow you to swap the data orientation in your histogram. 

Set or Remove Histogram Headers

Whenever you create a histogram, the title defaults to the first row of your data. To change this, simply follow this one step:

  1. In the Setup menu, uncheck the Use row 1 as headers option.

The Use row 1 as headers option

Here is the updated histogram:

Histogram of Scores

Set or Remove Histogram Labels

By default, the histogram displays data from the first column. But you can change this by following the step below:

  1. Uncheck the Use column A as labels option.

The Use column A as labels option

As simple as 1-2-3! 

Scores 2 vs Scores 1

The Customize Tab

Next, move to the Customize menu in the Chart editor box. Let’s take a look at what options are available here.

The Customize Tab

Сhart Style

Let’s go ahead and change the appearance of the histogram in just a few clicks!

  1. Click on the Chart style section.
  2. Go to Background color.
  3. Choose the color you like.
  4. Navigate to the Font tab.

Сhart Style

  1. Pick the font you prefer. Note: This changes the font of the entire histogram.
  2. Move to the Chart border color.

Chart border color

  1. Choose the color that best fits your chart.

Chart border color in Google Sheets

Here is the result!

Histogram of Scores in Google Sheets

Histogram

If you need assistance in modifying your histogram, follow the steps below to do so: 

  1. Select the Histogram section.
  2. Check Show item dividers if you wish for the dividers to be visible.
  3. Click on the Bucket size section.
  4. Set the size you need if you don’t want to use the Auto setting. 

The Bucket size section

  1. Go to the Outlier percentile.
  2. Pick the value you prefer. 

Outlier percentile

Voila! Now let’s see how this has modified our histogram!

Modified histogram

Chart & Axis Titles

Let’s see the steps on how to customize the title and axis labels of your histogram in detail. 

  1. Select the Chart title option from the list.
  2. Enter the title you need.
  3. Go to the Title font tab.

Chart & Axis Titles

  1. Choose the font you like. Here you can customize the font from the rest of the histogram.

The Font

  1. Click on the Title font size tab.
  2. Pick the size.
  3. Set the title format (bold, italic, alignment).
  4. Move to the Title text color option.

Title text color option

9. Select the color you prefer.

Colors

If you want to modify other types of titles, follow the steps you just applied.

Chart & Axis Titles in Google Sheets

Here’s your updated histogram. Let’s move on to the next step!

The Chart & Axis Titles

Series

This section is where you go to customize aspects of your histogram such as the color scheme, the background, the color or thickness of the lines, etc.

  1. Open the Series menu.
  2. Go to Fill color.

Series

3. Click on the color you like.

Colors in Google Sheets

  1. Move to the Fill opacity option.
  2. Set the opacity percentage you want.

The Fill opacity option

  1. Go next to the Line color.
  2. Select the color you prefer. You can also choose not to have an outline by selecting the Auto option.

Line color

  1. Navigate to the Line opacity tab.
  2. Decide what percentage you want and click on it.
  3. Select Line dash type.

Line dash type

  1. Choose the type you want for your lines.
  2. Move to Line thickness.
  3. Set the thickness you need.

Line thickness

Super easy! If you have more than one series in your histogram, simply repeat these steps for each one.

Chart

Legend

The legend is a key part of any histogram. A well-constructed legend can make a histogram much easier to interpret. Let’s see how to add a legend to our histogram.

  1. Open the Legend section.
  2. Go to the Position menu.

Legend

  1. Set the position you want for your legend.
  2. Click on Legend font.

Legend font

  1. Choose an appropriate font that is easily readable and doesn’t clash with the rest of the histogram.
  2. Navigate to Legend font size.

Legend font size

  1. Set the font size.
  2. Select the Legend format you prefer.

Legend format

  1. Click Text color.
  2. Pick the color you want.

Text color

Here’s the updated legend!

Legend font size in Google Sheets

Horizontal Axis and Vertical Axis

Now let’s look at how you can add an axis to fill your histogram with additional data!

  1. Select the Horizontal axis tab.
  2. Go to Label font

Horizontal Axis and Vertical Axis

  1. Choose the font you like.
  2. Navigate to Label font size.

Label font size

  1. Apply the font size.
  2. Pick the Label format you need.

Label format

  1. Move to Text color.
  2. Choose the color you prefer.
  3. Set the Minimum and Maximum Values if you need them.
  4. Click on the Slant labels menu.

Slant labels

11. Choose the desired indicator if you wish to slant your label text.

Indicator in the Slant Label Option

Check out what you’ve got! 

Labes on the Histogram

Use the previous method to modify the vertical axis in the same way. 

Vertical Axis

Gridlines and Ticks

On a graph, gridlines appear as horizontal and vertical lines. By using them, data can be read and interpreted more easily. Now let’s apply gridlines and ticks to our histograms.

  1. Click on the Gridlines and ticks menu.
  2. Check the marks to add gridlines and ticks as needed.

Gridlines and Ticks

  1. Click on the Gridline color option.
  2. Choose the color you prefer.

Gridline color

Here it is!

Gridline color in Google Sheets

Now let’s move on to the ticks!

  1. Move to Ticks position.
  2. Choose the position you want.

Ticks position

  1. Next, click the Ticks length option. 
  2. Choose the length you want.

Ticks length

  1. Select Line thickness.
  2. Apply the thickness you prefer.

Line thickness in Google Sheets

  1. Press on the Line color option. 
  2. Pick the color you like.

The Line color option

Congratulations! You have done it!

Ticks in Google Sheets

The Histogram in Google Sheets – Free Template

Below you will find the Histogram template used in this tutorial. 

The Histogram in Google Sheets – Free Template

The Histogram Chart in Google Sheets FAQs

To learn more about histograms, check out the frequently asked questions below!

What is a histogram in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets offers a built-in histogram tool that you can use to easily create histograms from your data. Basically, a histogram is a graphical representation of the data that you have collected. In a dataset, it shows how often certain values occur in a particular set of values. 

What are the use cases of histograms in Google Sheets?

There are many potential use cases for histograms in Google Sheets:

  • To graphically display the distribution of numerical data.
  • To assess whether the data are skewed or symmetrical.
  • To find out if there are any outliers in the data.

How do you export a histogram?

To export a histogram, click on the three-dot menu on the chart, select the Download option, and pick the format you need.

How do you export a histogram

How are histograms different from bar graphs?

Histograms and bar graphs may look similar, but they are quite different. Both are ways of representing data, but histograms are used for data that is continuous, while bar graphs are used for data that is categorical.

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Daniel Smith
Daniel Smith
Daniel Smith is automation consultant with a passion for technology, data, AI, and machine learning. Daniel loves to learn about new technologies and how they can be applied to solve complex problems. He is also a big fan of productivity hacks and enjoys finding ways to automate tasks to make organizations more efficient.