It’s easy to create a chart with X and Y axes in Google Sheets. There are different types of charts that use X and Y axes, just select the data you want to chart, go to Insert > Chart and choose the type of chart you want. For example, you can use scatterplots and histograms.
- 1 What Are Y-Axis and X-Axis on a Graph?
- 2 Types of X and Y on a Graph
- 3 How to Graph X and Y Axis on Google Sheets
- 4 How to Graph Equations on Sheets
- 5 How to Switch the Y and X-Axis
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions
- 7 Wrapping Up
What Are Y-Axis and X-Axis on a Graph?
In a 2D graph, the x-axis and y-axis are two lines that intersect at a 90 degree angle that intersect at the origin 0 of both quantities. Axes are used to represent two different variables through a graphical representation. A horizontal line on the graph usually represents the X-axis and is located at the bottom. A vertical line represents the Y-axis and runs toward the center or left of the graph.
For example, when creating a graph representing temperature versus time, the X-axis is used to represent time values and the Y-axis is used to represent temperature. Plotting an xy graph can visually show the relationship between two variables.
Types of X and Y on a Graph
The X-axis and Y-axis display different types of information on different charts. Let’s look at some commonly used charts with x and y axes.
- Bar chart: A bar chart is a common way of representing data using rectangular bars. The height or length of each bar corresponds to the values shown in the table. One axis is typically used to define various groups of data, and the other axis measures the values of those groups.
- Line chart: A line chart uses straight lines to connect different points on the chart. In this type of graph, the x-axis usually represents the independent variable, such as time. In contrast, the y-axis shows dependent variables such as sales, population, and temperature.
- Histogram: A histogram is a type of graph that displays the distribution of continuous data in an easy-to-understand way. Similar to a bar chart, but incorporates frequency and category information. The X-axis is used to represent the range of values and the Y-axis shows the frequency of values for each category.
- scatter Plot: A scatter plot can show the relationship between any two variables. The x and y axes can represent variables and dots can plot points on the graph.
How to Graph X and Y Axis on Google Sheets
To create charts in Google Sheets, you need tabular data in your spreadsheet.
- Open a spreadsheet to create a graph or chart with X and Y axes.
- Now select the table by clicking and dragging it. This is represented by a blue tint across the cell.
- Click Insert on the main toolbar and click the Chart button in the dropdown menu. This will add the chart and open the chart editor menu on the right side of the screen.
- In the Chart Editor, click an option under Chart Type to select the type of chart you want to create.
- Make sure the data range contains the range of cells for the data you want to add to the chart.
- To customize your chart, click the Customize button in the chart editor. There you can select options that allow you to make visual changes to your graph.
For a more in-depth guide to creating charts in Sheets, check out our article on everything you need to know about charts in Google Sheets.
How to Graph Equations on Sheets
Cells often contain formulas. When plotting charts for cells containing formulas, Google Sheets treats them the same as for cells containing raw numbers. This means that if the output of the formula is numeric, the process should be the same.
In this example, we have a data set with values from 1 to 10 on the X axis and the Y axis uses the formula =2*(N^3) where N is the corresponding value of X.
Here’s how to create a graph for this:
- Click the first cell and drag the fill handle to select the dataset.
- Then click Insert on the main bar, then click Chart. This will add the chart and open the chart editor.
- As with the steps in the previous heading, click the option under Chart Type in the Settings section to select the type of chart you want to create.
- To customize your chart, click Customize in the header bar.
This article focused on creating a chart with two data ranges. If you need multiple data ranges in your spreadsheet charts, check out the linked article.
How to Switch the Y and X-Axis
The sheet usually makes a good guess at what type of chart you’re using and makes charts smart. However, it can be inaccurate, so it’s a good idea to swap the X and Y axis data. Here’s how to swap the X and Y axes of a sheet:
- Click the chart to select it, then click the ellipsis icon at the top right of the chart. This will open a drop-down menu.
- Click the Edit Graph button here. This will open the chart editor window on the right side of the screen.
- Make sure you are on the Setup tab. You can select this using the button at the top.
- Here you will see the X-axis and series labels. Click the option under X Axis to change to other parameters. This time change it to Y.
- Repeat this step to change the Series option to the X axis parameter.
Axis switching can be very beneficial when Google Sheets cannot intelligently detect your chart’s axes. Here’s a detailed guide to switching between the X and Y axes in your sheet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where Is the X-Axis on a Graph?
The x-axis is the horizontal axis of the chart and is usually placed towards the bottom when the chart consists of positive numbers. The X-axis represents the independent variable and generally progresses from left to right on the graph.
Where Is the Y-Axis in a Graph?
The Y-axis is the vertical axis of the graph and is located on the left side. It represents what changes with the adjustment of the dependent, or independent, variable. In general, it extends from the bottom of the graph to the top.
How Can I Graph X and Y Axis on Google Sheets?
To create an x-axis and y-axis chart on a spreadsheet, enter data in the spreadsheet and select the data. Now click “Insert Main Bar” and then click “Chart” to add a chart. Select the chart type and data range here.
That’s all you need to know about creating X and Y axis charts in Google Sheets. If you have any questions, let us know in the comments. If you found this guide useful and would like to support the Spreadsheetpoint team, please consider purchasing a premium template. Code SSP can also save you 50% on downloads.