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Use the Insert menu> Chart in Google Docs to insert a chart. You can choose a variety of chart types: bar, column, line and pie. The chart will appear with sample data and you can edit the chart data in the linked Google Sheet.

If you want a chart in your report, proposal, or research paper, you can create one right in Google Docs. You don’t need to worry about creating one elsewhere and incorporating it. Simply insert your chart and add your data.

When you create a chart in Google Docs, you are taken to a Google Sheet to replace the sample data with your own. Then, you can customize the chart for the look you want. Go back to Google Docs and your chart is ready to update.

Insert a chart in Google Docs

Visit Google Docs, log in and open an existing or new document.

RELATED: How to create a bar chart in Google Sheets

Go to the Insert tab and move the cursor to “Chart”. You can then choose to add a bar chart, column chart, line chart, or pie chart. Note that you can add a chart you’ve already created in Google Sheets as well.

Types of charts in the Google Docs Insert menu

The selected chart is then displayed in the document with the sample data. You’ll see a short message at the bottom left of Google Docs with a link to edit the chart in Google Sheets. Click “Edit in Sheets” to do this.

Edit link in Sheets in Google Docs

If the message disappears before you can click the link, select the arrow in the upper right corner of the chart and select “Open Source”.

Open Source in the Google Docs chart menu

Edit and add chart data in Google Sheets

When the linked spreadsheet opens in Google Sheets, you’ll see the data and chart. You can then replace the sample chart data on the sheet with your own. The graph then updates automatically.

Data and graph in Google Sheets

You can work with the data and chart in Google Sheets as if you originally created them. For example, you may want to add another series to a bar chart or more pieces to a pie chart.

RELATED: How to create a chart in Google Sheets

Use the area in the spreadsheet to edit and add data. To include new columns or rows in the chart, double-click on the chart or select the three-dot menu at the top right and select “Edit Chart”.

Edit chart in the chart menu

When the sidebar of the Chart Editor opens, go to the Settings tab. You can change the cells in the Data Range field as needed. Then, use the Series section to include the additional series in the chart.

Interval and Series sections in the chart editor

Customize the elements and appearance of the chart

You may want to change the colors of the chart, add a title, or display the grid lines. Open the sidebar of the Chart Editor and select the Customize tab.

Customize tab in the chart editor

You can then expand each of the sections to customize the chart. Use the Graphic Style area to adjust the colors, the Chart and Axis Titles section to change the title and font, and the Grid Lines and Check Marks section to change these elements.

Chart title settings in the chart editor

Changes are automatically saved like any other Google app document.

Update the chart in Google Docs

When the graph is updated in Google Sheets, go back to the Google Docs document. You will see an Refresh button at the top right of the chart.

Refresh button on a chart in Google Docs

Click “Refresh” to see the changes made to the chart in Google Sheets.

Updated chart in Google Docs

Moving forward, you can make further updates to your chart as needed. Select the arrow at the top right of the chart and select “Open Source”. Make your changes in Google Sheets as you did initially, go back to Google Docs and click “Refresh” on the chart.

RELATED: How to Automatically Generate Graphs in Google Sheets

Inserting a chart into Google Docs is an excellent way to show a picture for the data you’re explaining. For more information, learn how to add flowcharts and diagrams or how to embed a Google Forms response chart in Google Docs.

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