Charts in Google Sheets

Okay, so today I was trying to create a cool column chart in Google Sheets, but it wasn’t going well. I had choices, but none were quite right. I could have a multi-color chart that was mushed together, or single color but neither option had labeled bars. I could include a legend, but that puts the data separate from the content. My source data was a list and I wanted to do counts of types and then chart those counts.

I checked the Google Docs Editor help but the docs didn’t provide a straightforward solution to how to solve my specific problem.

So I started to dig. I clicked on ‘Making a copy’ of the Survey results example, and inspected the configuration for the chart. When I attempted to modify my chart configuration to the example, Google Sheets complained that I couldn’t use row data to inform the columns in the chart.

So my pivot table was putting things in rows that the chart wanted in columns. I fixed this by using TRANSPOSE to flip the rows/columns. Then when I updated my data source to the transposed table my column chart was appropriately labeled and no longer smushed together.

But, I still had only one color. I realized that I could click on each bar in the chart and adjust the color by hand.

Success! I got my multi-colored, labeled, and appropriately spaced column chart using Google Sheets.