Google Charts Gets a Style Update

Here’s How to Take Advantage of It In Your Blogs

Our designer Danny DeBelius has introduced us to a data visualization tool called Google Image Charts. It’s pretty handy when you need some simple charts to help tell your stories. Now, guess what? Google has updated that tool and make the experience even better.

The main difference is that you don’t need to go to a Image Charts Editor page, but you can finish the process in your Google spreadsheet.

Connect to your data in real time

Let me explain this tool by using an example. I have a spreadsheet with data about Idaho legislators compiled by Emilie Ritter Saunders. Now try this: if you go to the spreadsheet, change some numbers in the education worksheet and refresh this post, you will see the numbers also changed here in the image below.

Isn’t it amazing? The updated Google charts tool connect your chart to your data in real time, making it convenient to change numbers or styles or add data to your posts as it becomes available.

Easy to use

This tool is also easy to use. We all have some experience using Excel to produce simple charts and graphics. The rules are similar here:

  • Input your data in a Google spreadsheet.
  • Select the part of the data that you want to use.
  • Choose “Insert” >> “Chart”.
  • Choose chart type and customize your chart (the color selection is limited, so you may not be able to apply our color palette to your chart.)

  • When you’re ready, hit “Insert”.
  • The chart will show up in your spreadsheet. Click on the chart, a little triangle will show up on the top right corner.
  • Click on the triangle for a drop-down menu, and choose “Publish chart”.

  • I would suggest you choose “Image” as the publish format. Our WordPress blog currently don’t have the plug-in to recognize the javascript for this type of interactive graphics.
  • Copy the image code and paste it in your HTML page.

If you want to learn more, go to the Google Chart Tools page or watch this video.

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