Dustin Wheeler

Dustin Wheeler
Dustin is a technology-driven CPA in Orem, Utah.

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How to Create and Publish a Dynamic Chart from Google Docs

Today I was experimenting with Google Docs and discovered something really cool that I want to share. I created the chart below titled “Cash Contributed to Partnership” from a simple spreadsheet. The chart is not a static image. The data in the chart is linked to the spreadsheet stored in my Google Docs account. When I change the numbers on the spreadsheet, the chart in this blog post updates automatically.

(disclaimer – the data in the chart is entirely fictional and any similarity to a real-life situtation is purely coincidental – also, this chart may not show in RSS feed readers, so please view this post on my blog website)

This is how I created and published the chart:

1.  I created a new spreadsheet in Google Docs, and entered the data shown below.

2. On the top menu, I clicked on insert, then gadget. In the finance category, I selected the “pile” chart that shows stacks of $100 bills of varying sizes based on the values in the spreadsheet.

3. The box you see below appeared. I selected the data range (which must include both the names and amounts) and entered a gadget title and chart header. Then, I clicked on the little arrow in the top right corner and clicked on Publish Gadget.

4. The box below then appeared with a script code that can be inserted into an HTML page. I copied the code below and pasted it into the top of this blog post.

I noticed that when I changed the values in the spreadsheet, it did not change the chart in my blog post immediately. Sometimes, it took a couple of minutes.

Do you have any questions or ideas to share? Please leave a comment below.

4 comments to How to Create and Publish a Dynamic Chart from Google Docs

  • Dustin-

    Google has some pretty cool features. This graph idea is really cool. Thanks for sharing dude.


  • Frank

    I created a google site and then a google form. The results from the form were consolidated into a pivot chart using a google gadget which also had a publish function. When I attempted to paste it into my google site in a given area using the “edit html” function, I placed the code at the end of the current code and received an error message.

  • Frank, I wish I could help, but I haven’t used Google Sites very much. I’ve published your comment in case anyone can help you.

  • Kara Haas

    Dustin, great find! I had mainly used Google Docs as an import tool in the past when clients did not have a commercial spreadsheet package on their machines. Looking forward to finding ways to apply beyond basic data entry. What a great application – thanks for the well written steps.

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