Sparklines in Google Sheets – How and when to use them


Sparklines can be added to Google Sheets to act as miniature charts to show trends in data.  They are simpler than Charts but not as versatile.  If you have ever tried to insert a decent chart into a spreadsheet, you can appreciate the simplicity of using Sparklines.

More specific sparkline articles…

Video explanation


To insert a Sparkline, you must use a formula as there is no Sparkline function in the menus.  The syntax is

=SPARKLINE(data,[options])

Using the formula above on a simple data set with no options specified would result in simple Sparklines charts as shown below.

sparklines no options

If you wish to make Sparklines charts that look different than the simple line chart, there are many options available.  Be careful when designating the type of chart as the syntax deviates from typical syntax used when creating spreadsheet formulas, or at least it is different from typical Excel syntax.  Prepare for curly braces and lots of commas and quotes…

 

Chart types

Line

The default option for Sparklines, the same as shown above.  There is no need to specify this as it would be redundant.  See more information on line chart options in this post.

=SPARKLINE(A1:E1,{"charttype","line"})

Bar

This options makes a “stacked bar chart”.

=SPARKLINE(A5:E5,{"charttype","bar"})

sparklines charttype bar2Column

Make a chart with columns representing the values.  See more information on line chart options in this post.

=SPARKLINE(A5:E5,{"charttype","column"})

sparklines chartype column

WinLoss

Shows only two different outcomes i.e, true/false, thunder/lightning, peanut butter/jelly.  OK, maybe only one of those was a good example.  See more information on line chart options in this post.sparklines chartype winloss 

=SPARKLINE(A13:E13,{"charttype","winloss"})

 


 

Follow image below for the live Google Sheet with sparklines

docs share icon