Category Archives: Column charts

How to Create a Column Chart

Let’s say that you own a small insurance company named “Jim’s Insurance for You”.   You have three agents who go door to door and to sell insurance for your company.   You are checking their progress every month, and you always need to know who is the biggest seller every month. So, let’s see how they did this quarter, and let’s see how to create a column chart using this information.


First, we shall create the table holding the information for the last three months.
Click on the A3 cell and drag the mouse over to D3, then down to D6. You will now have highlighted the cells from A3 to D6 (see screen below).
Now, while these cells (A3 to D6) are still highlighted, click on Insert, then click on Chart.
Now, let’s take a look at the screen that has just popped up. Google has given you many choices to choose from here. If you look closely, Google has highlighted the first chart. Google is recommending the “Column Chart”. If you look at the large chart on the right, you will see that Google has already done the work for you. Since this is the one that Google has recommended for your table, then let’s choose it by clicking at the Insert button in the bottom lower left.
As you can see, Google has dropped our chart over our table. Now, let’s do two things. First, move the chart away from the table. Then make the chart bigger.   See the following screens.
Click on the chart and drag it under the table.
Note that the chart is highlighted in a blue outline. If you do not see the blue outline, click in a white space within the chart. Move the cursor down to the bottom right corner of the chart and click, hold and drag to make the chart grow. When you think it is large enough, let go and click anywhere outside of the chart.
Let’s take a good look and the chart to see what it is telling us.   Your sales team is listed at the bottom, and each month has been separated.   You can see by the small legend in the upper right, that April is the blue colored column, May is red, and June is orange.   Each salesperson has their own set of colored columns for the quarter.
Without looking at the numbers (at the left side of the chart), the colors tell you the following:
  • John had the highest in April, but not so much in June.  (Hmmm… I wonder why)?
  • Sally did pretty good for April and May, and then she “skyrocketed” in June.  WOW.
  • Mark progressed upwards a little every month, and that is good.

Making Minor Changes to your Chart

Let’s change the title of the chart.  
  • Click on the title “Sales Person /April / May / June”.
  • Change title to “Sales for the Spring Quarter”.
  • Hit the Enter-Key, and click outside of the chart.
Let’s change the background color of the chart.  
  • Click on the small middle blue square at the top of your chart (Arrow 1)
  • Click on the small icon – paint jar (Arrow 2).
  • Click on the color of your choice – I chose light yellow (Arrow 3).
Here is the completed chart.  Very nice, don’t you think.
Side note: If you are interested, check out how this would look using a Bar Chart instead of a Column Chart.
Now it’s your turn.  I am sure that you can create a situation where you can use a similar table to create this great Column Chart.  If you already have a real life situation where you can use the Column Chart, then why not go ahead and create it now while this is still fresh in your mind.  Remember, you can always use this as a guide.
So c’mon, create your own Column chart.