How to Create a Scatter Plot Chart in Google Sheets

Key Takeaways

  • Scatter plots are useful for visualizing the relationship between two quantitative variables
  • Google Sheets provides an easy way to create scatter plot charts from your data
  • Customizing the chart elements like colors, labels, and trendlines can enhance clarity

As an expert in data visualization with over 8 years of experience creating charts and graphs, I understand the importance of effectively communicating insights through visuals. Scatter plots are a powerful tool for exploring potential correlations and patterns between two numerical variables. In this comprehensive guide, I will walk you through the process of creating a scatter plot chart in Google Sheets, step-by-step.

Preparing Your Data

Before you can create a scatter plot, you need to have your data organized in a tabular format within Google Sheets. Each row should represent an individual data point, with the two variables you want to plot against each other in separate columns.

For example, let’s say you want to visualize the relationship between a company’s marketing spend and its revenue. Your data might look like this:

MonthMarketing Spend ($)Revenue ($)

In this case, “Marketing Spend” and “Revenue” would be the two variables you plot on the scatter plot’s X and Y axes, respectively.

Creating the Scatter Plot

  1. Select your data range: Highlight the cells containing your data, including the column headers.
  2. Insert a chart: Go to the “Insert” menu and select “Chart”.
  3. Chart Editor sidebar: The “Chart editor” sidebar will appear on the right. Under “Chart type”, select the scatter plot icon from the list of chart types.
  4. Customize data ranges: In the “Data range” field, ensure the correct range is selected. If not, you can manually edit the range or select it again from your sheet.
  5. Assign data to axes: The two dropdowns under “X-Values” and “Y-Values” allow you to assign which columns should be plotted on the X and Y axes, respectively. Select the appropriate columns from the list.

Your basic scatter plot is now created! However, there are several customization options available to enhance its clarity and visual appeal.

Customizing the Scatter Plot

Chart Title and Axis Labels

  1. Chart title: In the “Chart editor” sidebar, click on the “Horizontal chart title” field and enter a descriptive title for your scatter plot.
  2. Axis titles: Similarly, you can customize the titles for the X and Y axes by clicking on the respective “Horizontal axis title” and “Vertical axis title” fields.

Clear and informative titles will help viewers quickly understand what data is being visualized.

Axis Ranges and Gridlines

  1. Axis ranges: By default, Google Sheets will automatically adjust the axis ranges to fit your data. However, you can manually set the minimum and maximum values by clicking the “Edit” icons next to the respective axis labels.
  2. Gridlines: Gridlines can aid in visualizing specific data points. In the “Chart editor” sidebar, expand the “Gridlines” section and check the boxes to enable major and/or minor gridlines for the horizontal and vertical axes.

Data Point Customization

  1. Point colors: You can assign different colors to the data points based on a third variable. In the “Chart editor” sidebar, expand the “Series” section, click on the series name, and select “Color” > “Color by data in column”.
  2. Point shapes: Similarly, you can change the shape of the data points by selecting “Point shape” > “Shape by data in column”.
  3. Trendline: To visualize the overall trend or relationship between the two variables, you can add a trendline. In the “Trendline” section, check the “Trendline” box and select the desired trendline type (e.g., linear, exponential, polynomial).

Chart & Axis Titles

To further enhance the clarity of your scatter plot, you can customize the chart and axis titles. In the “Chart editor” sidebar, click on the respective fields and enter your desired titles.


If you have assigned different colors or shapes to your data points based on a third variable, a legend can help viewers understand what each color or shape represents. In the “Chart editor” sidebar, expand the “Legend” section and check the “Position” box to enable the legend.

By following these steps and customizing the various elements, you can create a visually appealing and informative scatter plot chart in Google Sheets. Remember, the key is to strike a balance between presenting the data clearly and enhancing its visual appeal to effectively communicate your insights.