Formula Pie Charts in Google Sheets

In this post, we’ll look at how to create miniature formula pie charts in Google Sheets. Formula pie charts are miniature pie charts that exist inside a single cell of a Google Sheet.

We’ll even create a Named Function to make it super easy to use these miniature pie charts. We’ll name this new function SPARKPIE, in honor of the eponymous SPARKLINE function.

Sparkline Pie Chart in Google Sheets
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The Complete Guide to Smart Chips in Google Sheets

Smart Chips in Google Sheets allow us to add richer information to our Sheets, beyond the standard data contained in cells. They help us work more seamlessly by bringing information from external sources into our Sheets.

In this post and video, we take a comprehensive look at the smart chip feature. You’ll learn what they are, how to work with them, and see some example workflows to understand how they can enrich your Google Sheets workflows.

Table of Contents

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Play-It-Through Chess Game in a Single Google Sheets Formula

Play It Through Chess Game in Google Sheets Formula

In 1956, a 13-year old Bobby Fischer announced his chess genius to the world, winning one of the finest games in chess history. In fact, Chess Review called it “The Game of the Century“.

In a game full of beauty and surprise, Fischer overcame his much older, more experienced opponent, the International Master Donald Byrne.

In this video and blog post, we create a single formula in Google Sheets that plays through this game!

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Filtering With Dates In The QUERY Function

Filtering with dates in the Query function in Google Sheets can be tricky.

In a nutshell, the problem occurs because dates in Google Sheets are actually stored as serial numbers, but the Query function requires a date as a string literal in the format yyyy-mm-dd, otherwise it can’t perform the comparison filter.

This post explores this issue in more detail and shows you how to filter with dates correctly in your Query formulas.

The Problem with Dates in the QUERY Function

Suppose you have a dataset of Space Shuttle launches from the first launch in 1981 through to the final launch in 2011. You want to filter the data to look only at the subset from the year 2000 onwards.

Query function with date filter

To begin, you might try the following syntax:

=QUERY(Data!$A$1:$H$136,"select C, B where B > '1/1/2000'",1)

Unfortunately, the output of such a query is blank:

Incorrect dates in the Query formula

If instead we remove the single quotes from around the date and try again, we get a #VALUE! error because the Query formula can’t perform the comparison:

Incorrect dates in the Query function

Alas, what are we to do!

Neither of these “standard” formats work, because the dates are not in the correct format for the Query function.

Correct Syntax for Dates in the QUERY Function

Per the Query Language documentation, we need to include the date keyword and ensure that the date is in the format yyyy-mm-dd to use a date as a filter in the WHERE clause of our Query function.

Putting aside the Query function for a moment, let’s consider that "select..." string.

The new syntax we want will look like this:

date_column > date '2000-01-01'

Our challenge is to create a text formula to create this syntax for us, inside our query function.

Dealing with the text function first, starting with our required date of 1/1/2000 and working outwards:

First, we convert it to a serial number format with the DATEVALUE() wrapper:


The output of this formula is a number:


Then the TEXT() function converts it to the required format for the Query formula by specifying a format of "yyyy-mm-dd":


The output of this formula is a date in the desired format:


Next we add single quotes around the new date format, with the "'" syntax. Finally, we insert the word date into the query string, to give:

="select C, B where B > date '"&TEXT(DATEVALUE("1/1/2000"),"yyyy-mm-dd")&"'"

which gives or desired output:

select C, B where B > date '2000-01-01'

That’s the syntax challenge done!

We can now plop that string into the middle argument of our Query function as per usual, and it’ll do the trick for us.

In this case, I was using a table of Space Shuttle mission data from Wikipedia, which contains a column of launch dates.

I used the IMPORTHTML() function to import that table into my Google Sheet, into a tab called Data in the range A1:H136. There’s a link to this dataset and worksheet at the end of the post.

This Query formula returns all of the Space Shuttle missions after 1 January 2000:

=QUERY(Data!$A$1:$H$136,"select C, B where B > date '"&TEXT(DATEVALUE("1/1/2000"),"yyyy-mm-dd")&"'",1)

The output of our formula is now returning the correct, filtered data:

Correct syntax to use dates in the query function

Referencing a Date in a Cell

The formula is actually simpler in this case, as we don’t need the DATEVALUE function. Assuming we have a date in cell A1 that we want to use in our filter, then the formula becomes:

=QUERY(Data!$A$1:$H$136,"select C, B where B > date '"&TEXT(A1,"yyyy-mm-dd")&"'",1)

Example Showing Filter Between Two Dates

Again, it’s relatively simple to extend our formula by adding a second date clause after the AND keyword:

=QUERY(Data!$A$1:$H$136,"select C, B where B > date '"&TEXT(A1,"yyyy-mm-dd")&"' and B <= date '"&TEXT(B1,"yyyy-mm-dd")&"'",1)

Today’s Date as a Filter

Substitute the TODAY() function into our formula:

=QUERY(Data!$A$1:$H$136,"select C, B where B > date '"&TEXT(TODAY(),"yyyy-mm-dd")&"'",1)


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