How to Create a Histogram in Google Sheets

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A histogram is a method of visually displaying numerical data to show the distribution and patterns within the data, such common values and outliers.

They are frequently used in statistics, data analysis, and quality control.

There are various methods for creating a histogram in Google Sheets, with the Histogram tool in the Chart Editor being the most commonly used. This method is recommended for users familiar with Google Sheets and the Chart Editor.

Method 1: Use the Histogram Tool in the Chart Editor

  • To access the Chart Editor, navigate to the menu and choose Insert > Chart.
  • Select the Histogram option in the Chart Editor sidebar.
  • Please adjust the histogram settings in the Chart Editor sidebar.
  • To add the histogram to the spreadsheet, select the “Insert” option.

Method 2: Use the FREQUENCY Function

The FREQUENCY function in Google Sheets is utilized to generate a histogram by providing the count of data points within consecutive and ascending ranges.

  • Please enter the data you would like to use for the histogram, either in a single column or in multiple columns.
  • Please select the cell in which you would prefer the histogram to appear.
  • Please enter the FREQUENCY function into the specified cell.
  • Configure the FREQUENCY function.

Configuring the Histogram Settings

The histogram settings in Google Sheets are adjustable using the Chart Editor sidebar.

Data Range

The data range is set by entering the desired range of cells in the Data Range field in the Chart Editor sidebar, which contains the data used to create the histogram.

Bin Range

The bin range is the set of cells housing the data used for the histogram, which can be specified in the Bin Range field located in the Chart Editor sidebar.


The interval is the size of the bins for data grouping, which can be adjusted in the Interval field in the Chart Editor sidebar.

Histogram Type

Users can choose and customize the histogram type in the Histogram Type field located in the Chart Editor sidebar.

Viewing the Histogram

Once created, the histogram will be visible in the spreadsheet. It will update automatically as new data is added. To make any changes to the histogram, use the Chart Editor. Simply select the histogram and click on Edit from the toolbar to open the Chart Editor.

  • What is a Histogram?
  • This guide provides instructions for creating a histogram in Google Sheets.
  • Customizing a histogram in Google Sheets involves adjusting the chart formatting and layout options.
  • Instructions on how to create a double histogram in Google Sheets.
  • Conclusion

Visualizations help with understanding data by representing it in different ways. Google Sheets has a variety of charts to choose from. One option is the histogram, which displays the distribution of values within intervals. These intervals, known as bins or buckets, show how frequently certain values appear in the data.

This guide covers the differences between histograms and column or bar charts, as well as instructions for creating a histogram in Google Sheets. It includes step-by-step guidance on setting up data, creating the histogram, and customizing it. It also explains the process of creating a histogram using two sets of data.

A histogram is a chart used to visually represent the distribution of values for a specific variable. It divides the range of values into equal-sized bins on the x-axis, with the height of each bin on the y-axis indicating the frequency of values within that interval.

While histograms and column or bar charts may appear similar at first glance, they each serve distinct purposes. Column or bar charts are commonly utilized for displaying categorical data, such as survey responses, while histograms are used to illustrate the distribution of numerical values, like age or grades.

A histogram can show the distribution of scores on a test. You determine the range of scores from the lowest to highest and divide it into equal bins. Next, you place the scores in their corresponding bins and count how many fall into each one. Alternatively, you can use Google Sheets to automate this process.

To create a histogram chart in Google Sheets, simply select the range of cells with your values, navigate to Insert > Chart, and make sure the ‘Chart type’ is set to ‘Histogram chart’ in the ‘Chart editor’.

1. Set Up Data

When creating a histogram in Google Sheets, simply input a column of values for your variable without worrying about the order.

2. Insert Chart

To create a chart, select the cells containing values, go to the Insert tab, and click on Chart.

3. Select Chart Type

Select “Histogram chart” as the chosen option under “Chart type” in the ‘Chart editor’ sidebar.

Instructions are available for customizing fonts and colors, editing titles and labels, adjusting buckets and including item dividers, as well as adding a second set of data for a double histogram after creating your initial histogram.

Change Chart Style

Within the ‘Chart editor’, users can access additional options by clicking on the ‘Customize’ tab and then selecting ‘Chart style’.

The screenshot below shows options for customizing the font, background color, and border color.

Change Chart Titles

To change any of the titles, go to ‘Chart & axis titles’ and select the option below it.

Users have the option to customize the text, font, font size, format, and text color for each title.

Change Bins

The ‘Histogram’ section allows you to adjust the bin size, outlier percentiles, and include dividers within the bins.

Add a Series to Make a Double Histogram

It is possible to create a double histogram by adding another series of values to an existing histogram that already has one set or series of values.

In the ‘Setup’ tab, modify the data range to encompass the second column with the values.

To include the second set of values, select ‘Add series’ and choose the relevant set.

You have obtained the double histogram.

To create a double histogram in Google Sheets, first select both sets of values. Next, go to Insert and click on Chart. If the chart type is not set to histogram, you can change it in the editor under ‘Chart type’. Finally, make minor adjustments to the series to complete the double histogram.

  • To create a chart, select both sets of values and then click on the Insert tab followed by Chart.
  • Select “Histogram chart” as the chart type in the Chart Editor, and remove the initial values from the X-axis as instructed.
  • Please input the first set of values as a series, following the format shown in the screenshot below.
  • The Y-axis title should be removed as requested.
  • The double histogram enables comparison of values from both sets.

Histograms are commonly utilized to visually display the distribution of values for numerical variables. Values are grouped into equal intervals known as bins or buckets, with each value being categorized into its respective bucket. These buckets are displayed along the horizontal axis according to the range of values, and the height of each bucket indicates the frequency of values within that interval.

This section covers the differences between histograms and column or bar charts, as well as the simple process of creating a histogram chart in Google Sheets. It also includes information on customizing histograms by adjusting style, titles, labels, and adding additional series for a double histogram.

To learn how to create a histogram in Google Sheets, refer to guides that cover the topic before, during, or after the process. Utilize the drop-down menu, sample data, frequency distribution data, and numerical data points to edit the chart title, data set, and axis titles on your Google Sheet.

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Picture of Author: Amanda Jones
Author: Amanda Jones

Amanda Jones specializes in social media marketing. She holds a Master's degree in Social Media Management from the University of Florida and a Social Media Professional Certificate from the University of Miami.


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