Tree Map Charts in Google Sheets 🌴 | Best Guide (2023)

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How to create tree map charts in Google Sheets

Learn how to create tree map charts in Google Sheets through this easy & stress-free guide 😌

Why use tree map charts in Google Sheets

It often becomes difficult to represent relationships amongst categories when working with lots of data. Tree map charts are useful in representing parent-child relationships between different items and are usually used for the classification of data.

Each category of data is represented in the form of rectangles in tree map charts in Google Sheets and each of these rectangles has a specific size and colour. This makes the data easy to understand and interpret. 

Tree Maps are considered better than pie charts primarily because the human mind finds it easier to perceive the rectangles present in a tree map chart versus the wedges that are present in a pie chart. Since most reports involve a breakdown view of data, creating tree map charts in Google Sheets as against pie charts might just be a quick way for you to score some extra brownie points with your manager! 😎

How to create tree map charts in Google Sheets

Follow the steps below to create a tree map chart in Google Sheets.

Step 1: Formatting the data

In order to create tree map charts in Google Sheets, the data should follow a particular format. As shown below, for this article I have considered as an example the different types of majors taught at a university.

Sample data to create tree map in Google Sheets
Fig 1: Data to create tree map charts In Google Sheets

As you can see the data shown above consists of three columns in the following format-

  1. First column – This column consists of the objects for which the tree map chart is to be created. Objects should follow a hierarchy where the first record is the parent and the succeeding records are the subcategories and their corresponding objects.
  2. Second column – This column specifies the parent for each entity. For instance, the parent for the major Mathematics is Bachelor of Sciences. 
  3. Third column – This column consists of a positive numerical value for each object and the sum of these values is indicated at the top of the column.
  4. Fourth column (optional) – Can be included to specify a positive numeric value indicating the color of the rectangular boxes. 

Now that we have prepared our data, let’s move on to actually creating tree map Charts in Google Sheets. 

Step 2: Creating tree map charts in Google Sheets

  • Select all the data. 
Selecting data to create Tree map Charts in Google Sheets
Fig 2: Select the data | Example for tree map chart in Google Sheets
  • Click Insert-> Chart
Inserting a Chart to create Tree map Charts in Google Sheets
Fig 3: Insert chart | Example for tree map charts in Google Sheets
  • From the Chart Editor, select Tree Map Chart
Selecting Tree Map Charts in Google Sheets
Fig 4: Select Tree map Chart | Example for tree map chart in Google Sheets
  • A tree map chart in Google Sheets appears on the screen. 
What Tree map Charts in Google Sheets look like
Fig 5: Sample display of tree map charts in Google Sheets
  • Hover your cursor over an item in the chart, to see its value.
Hover the cursor over an item to see its value in the Tree map Charts in Google Sheets
Fig 6: Hover the cursor over the tree map chart in Google Sheets
  • If you double-click on a particular header (the ones shaded in blue), you can zoom in on that area. For example, as shown below clicking on the Bachelor of Arts header zooms the entire region. 
Zooming in on a header in Tree Map Charts in Google Sheets
Fig 7: Zoom in on a particular header of your tree map chart in Google Sheets

Next, let’s see how you can customize your tree map chart to make it more visually appealing. 

Customizing the tree map charts in Google Sheets

You can make modifications in your tree map chart by navigating to the Setup or Customize section in the Chart Editor of Google Sheets. Let’s go through the type of customizations each section allows you to make in the chart. 

  1. The Setup section – 

As shown below this section allows you to configure the data series of your chart.

  • Data range – Refers to the cell range for which we are creating the Tree Map Chart.
  • ID – Refers to all the selected cells in the first column of the data which act as the title of the tree map chart. 
  • Parent – Refers to all the parent cells in the second column of the data.
  • Size – Contains the cell range of the objects’ numeric values. 
  • Color – If a fourth column is present in the data, this field will refer to the cell range of the numeric values that represent the color of the rectangular boxes.
  1. The Customize section – 

This section makes changes to the visual appearance of the tree map chart. 

  • Chart style – In this section, you can modify the background color, border color, and font of your tree map chart.
  • Tree map – Here, you can customize the font, font size, format, and text color for your objects. Moreover, this section also allows you to set the header color and the colors of the various objects depending on their min, mid and max values.

To illustrate this I have changed the min value and mid value colors for the tree map chart. 

Changing colors in a Google Sheets Tree Map Chart
Fig 8: Changing the colors

After making the above change, this is what the new chart looks like.

Tree Map Chart in Google Sheets with new colors
Fig 9: The tree map chart with new colors
  • Chart & axis titles – Add titles to your tree map chart by navigating to this section.

To demonstrate this, I have specified the chart title in the title text input box. As you can see in the figure below the corresponding title gets added to the chart. 

Adding title to a Tree Map Chart in Google Sheets
Fig 10: Chart title added to the tree map chart in Google Sheets

See Also

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