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Graphs are essential no matter where you work. They help to give a visual representation of any data you need to present. Any graph will allow others to have a better understanding of the numbers. They will also make the information more exciting.

Google Sheets and Google Docs allow any user to create a wide variety of graphs, depending on what you need for your presentation. The information below will focus specifically on the most standard of graphs. To learn how to make an X Y graph in Google Docs or Google Sheets, or how to make a scatter plot on Google Sheets, continue reading the information below.

What is an X Y Graph?

X Y graphs show the correlation between two different factors. Typically, they show the results of experiments that put both of these components against one another. An example could be a correlation between the amount of sleep someone gets and one’s productivity, for instance.

Each of the factors presented on an X Y graph is on its axis. One is on the X and the other on the Y. The creator plots dots where the variables intersect, drawing a line through them in the end. The direction the stroke goes dictates a positive or negative correlation.

If a person is more productive with more sleep, for instance, there is a positive correlation. If you want an example of a negative correlation, consider that the higher you are, the colder it gets. With this general understanding, you are ready to learn how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets or Docs.

Types of Line Charts Available

When you want to know how to make an X Y graph in Google docs, you should understand the type you want to create. Google offers three types of line charts, as mentioned below.


A standard graph only has a single line going through the dots. It only plots one type of data.


A smooth graph shows the correlation between two sets of data. It essentially will contain two lines that each represent a different variable.

Combo Graph

A combo graph will combine two types of visual elements. You could have a line connecting the various points with a bar chart underneath, for instance.

Making a Graph in Google Sheets

Google Sheets is full of productivity features, including the ability to make any graph you want. To know how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets, follow the tips below.

Entering Data

After opening Google Sheets, you will need to enter all of your data. This process will take place in the cell blocks by following the steps below.

  1. Open a blank spreadsheet.
  2. Select a cell by clicking it.
  3. Type to enter data.

You will need three separate columns for your data in the first step to learn how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets. The first will be in the A column and will notate the points. Column B showcases the data for the X-axis, and column C is for the Y-axis.

It is essential to leave cell A1 empty. Cells B1 and C1 are only for the label for each axis on your graph. This information does not receive a plot.

It is important to note that you can move cells as necessary for the creation of your graphs. There are also options for inserting new cells above or below one already made.

Highlighting the Cells

To create a graph, you will need to highlight the cells. Make sure that you include any labels and headers.

  1. Click on a corner cell.
  2. Drag the mouse to select all of the data.
how to make an X Y graph in Google Docs - select the column with the data

Creating the Graph

After pressing “insert,” you will be on your way to creating the graph. Follow the tips below to complete this process.

1. After you press “insert,” press “chart.”
2. When the preview shows up, press the button labeled “type.”

3. Scroll down to the section labeled line graphs and choose the most appropriate for your data.
4. Press the checkmark in the upper left.

how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets - change graph

Customization Options

There are a variety of customization options available when you learn how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets. To access these, you press the option to “edit chart” after right-clicking. Under the editor, there is a tab labeled “customize.”

Add a Second Axis

The first customization option to discuss is the addition of a secondary axis. You will choose the “series” option under the “customize” tab, then select the placement where it will go. Under the axis drop-down menu, choose the side where you want to place it.

Switch Rows/Columns

If you entered your data wrong on the spreadsheet, this tool is beneficial. It allows you to change the row information to columns and vice versa.


The maximize option helps you fill out the white space. There will not be a waste of room devoted to margins, for instance.

Chart Axis and Titles

This section of the customization options lets you change the titles of either axis and the chart itself. You can also adjust the font, the color, and even the size of the text.


Though mentioned formerly, the series options are extensive. You can change the thickness of the line, the size of the points, and even the shape if you would like.


The legend settings first let you customize its location. After, you can adjust the font size, the format, the text style, and the color.

Axis Options

Finally, you can adjust the font for both the vertical and horizontal axis. You can also reverse the order of them under these settings.

Using the Mobile App

Much of the above information is necessary when you want to know how to make an X Y graph in Google Docs. It is also important for using Google Sheets on a mobile device through the app. You can follow the specific steps below, however, to better understand the process.

  1. Open a new spreadsheet in the app.
  2. Enter data in the appropriate cells.
  3. Select all of the cells to use in your graph.
  4. Tap the button labeled “insert,” then press “chart.”
  5. Click “type” and choose the X Y graph option best for your use.
  6. Press “done.”

Make an X Y Graph in Google Docs

You have to know how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets to understand how to make an X Y graph in Google Docs. This knowledge is the first part of the process.

Integrating Google Sheets

You will need to open a blank page or an existing document on Google Sheets to begin the process. The rest of the steps are below.

1. Click on the tab labeled “file.”
2. Press the button saying “new,” then click “spreadsheet.”

how to make an X Y graph in Google Docs - click on google sheets

3. Go to the new page in Google Sheets and enter data in the cells

how to make an X Y graph in Google Docs - select the column with the data

4. Select the cells to use for your X Y graph, and press the tab labeled “insert.”
5. Click “chart” and choose the appropriate line graph.

click on insert, chart - how to make an X Y graph in Google Docs

Copy and Paste

After the chart is in your Google Sheets document, you can copy and paste it. Right-click to copy, or press CTRL+C or CMD+C, depending on your computer. To paste the graph into your Google Docs document, right-click again or press CTRL+V or CMD+V.

how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets - paste the chart
paste the graph to google docs from your google sheet - how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets

Insert the Graph

If you do not want to copy and paste, you can also insert the graph. To know how to make an X Y graph in Google Docs using this method, follow the below steps.

  1. Go to the “insert” tab.
  2. Press the “chart” button.
  3. Scroll down to the “from sheets” option.
  4. Choose the most recent graph.

Use the Google Docs Mobile App

If you know how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets mobile apps, you should know how to use the Docs application too. The process is different than it is on the computer.

  • Open the Google Sheets app and add data to the cells.
  • Select the appropriate cells for the graph and press the icon resembling a plus sign.
  • Tap the button labeled “chart.”
  • Scroll down to the line graph in the type menu.
  • Open the Google Docs app and create a new document.
  • Visit the Google Docs website.
  • Go to browser options and select “show desktop version.”
  • Open a blank document in Google Docs, and tap in the middle of it.
  • Proceed to the tab labeled “insert” and choose “chart.”
  • Select “from sheets” and choose the graph you just made.
  • Press “import.”
  • Open the Google Docs app to ensure your graph is in the document.

Customization Options

There are a few customization options for learning how to make an X Y graph in Google Docs. These are below.

Change the Chart Type

You can change the chart type by clicking on the link icon for the graph, then “open source.” This process will bring you back to Google Sheets, where you can go to the setup menu and choose a different graph type.

Alter the Legend

Again, you will have to click the link button in Google Docs to get to Google Sheets. You will need the “customize” tab in the editor menu. Use the information you learned about how to make an X Y graph in Google Sheets.

Other Graph Types

There are many types of graphs you can make in Google Docs and Google Sheets. If you want to learn how to make a scatter plot on Google Sheets, for instance, you will follow the same basic process, changing the chart type and only use two columns. There are dozens of graphs available to you!

Get Charting!

Google Docs and Google Sheets are the perfect tools for you to use to make an X Y graph. You will have a beautiful visual representation of your experiment’s or company’s data by following the simple customization and creation tips above. Now you should have a better understanding on how to make an X Y Graph in Google Docs or Google Sheets.

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