How to Create a Chart in Google Slides

A chart or graph is a great way to show a snapshot of your data. So when you pair a chart with another visual tool like Google Slides, you can create a perfect data presentation for your audience.

You can certainly create a chart in Google Sheets and then insert it into your Google Slides presentation. But you can also do the reverse and launch the chart from Slides. Here’s how to create a chart in Google Slides.


Create a chart in Google Slides

Visit Google Slides, sign in, and open your presentation. Navigate to the slide where you want to insert the chart. Since the chart covers the entire slide by default, you can start with a blank slide. You can then resize and move the graphic later, if necessary.

Open the Insert menu, select Chart, then choose the type of chart you want to use from the drop-down menu. You can use the most common chart types, such as bars, columns, lines, and pie charts.

Types of charts available in Google Slides

You will then see a default chart with sample data appear on your slide. You’ll also notice a brief message at the bottom of the page telling you that you can edit the chart in Google Sheets. Click the “Edit in Sheets” link in the message to go directly to the chart in Google Sheets.

“Edit in Sheets” link after inserting the chart into the slide.

If the message disappears before you can click the link, don’t worry. Select the chart, then click the arrow at the top right of it. Choose “Open Source” and Google Sheets will open in a new browser tab, directly to the chart and its data.

Open source to edit chart in Sheets

Edit chart and data in Google Sheets

You can use the sample data for the chart if that suits your purpose. Otherwise, just use the cells above the chart in Google Sheets to add your own data.

Chart and data for slides in Sheets

To adjust what is displayed on the graph, click on the three dots at the top right of it and choose “Edit graph”. This opens the Graph Editor sidebar for you to adjust axes, series, and other items in the Setup tab.

Chart configuration options in Sheets

To customize the look of the chart, select the Customize tab from the sidebar. You can expand the categories based on your chart type to change things like chart style, legend, and series.

Chart customization options in Sheets

When you’re done setting up the data, adjusting the chart, and customizing its appearance in Google Sheets, return to the Google Slides tab in your browser.

Update chart in Google Slides

Back on your slide, you’ll see an Update button on the chart. Click this button to apply the changes you made to the chart and data in Google Sheets.

Update chart button in Google Slides

To go further, you can update the chart data or the chart itself by opening the corresponding Google Sheet. To do this, click on the arrow at the top right of the chart in Google Slides and select “Open Source”.

But you can also go directly to Google Sheets or Google Drive. The worksheet name will be the same as your Slides presentation, plus the chart type.

Bar chart spreadsheet in Google Sheets listing

If you want to convert the chart to a static image, you can simply unlink it from the Google Sheets source. Click on the arrow at the top right of the graph and choose “ungroup”.

Unlink a chart in Google Slides from Google Sheets

Just note that you can’t update the chart or its data using Google Sheets if you unlink it. It will appear as a static image on your slide.

Chart as an image in Google Slides

Adding a chart to your Google Slides presentation may be just the visual you need to enhance the slideshow or show the exact data needed.

For other types of visuals for your slideshow, see “How to add videos and customize how they play” or “How to draw on Google Slides.”

Leave a Comment