In this article, you’ll see how to annotate your Google charts, by adding formatting and data labels to specific data points only.
Formatting specific datapoints or adding data labels are a very powerful way of adding context to your charts, to bring attention to certain data points and add additional explanation.
How to add formatting to individual data points only?
Custom formatting for individual points is available through the chart sidebar: Chart Editor > CUSTOMIZE > Series > FORMAT DATA POINTS
When you click on the FORMAT DATA POINT button, you’re prompted to choose which data point you want to format (what you see here will depend on your chart):
This data point is added under the Series menu in the Chart Editor sidebar, so you can specify unique formatting. For example, I’ve formatted the largest revenue month in red in the following chart:
It’s possible to add multiple data points to be formatted (and each can be uniquely formatted):
Note, custom formatting can be applied to individual data points by right clicking them from within the chart:
How to add labels to specific data points only?
In the example below, I used data labels to clearly indicate the sales figures for the end of each day, during a 3-day digital flash sale, which helped the client easily see their performance.
Let’s start with this dataset:
which records the number of products sold during a 3-day sale.
If you plot a default line chart and add data labels in the Chart Editor, you’ll notice you have no choice of their placement; it’s all or nothing, as shown in this image:
So, we need an alternate approach.
The trick is to create annotation columns in the dataset that only contain the data labels we want, and then get the chart tool to plot these on our chart.
Add annotations in new columns next to the datapoint you want to add it to, and the chart tool will do the rest. So if you set up your dataset like this:
then the chart tool will interpret those annotations and add them to the correct points on your chart:
Note, you’re not restricted to text in these annotation columns. In this example the formulas in columns C and E are respectively:
="End of day 1: "&D5&" sales"
Can I see an example worksheet?
How do I add data labels to only the last datapoint of my series in Google Sheets?
Using exactly the same technique as illustrated above, you can label the last points of your series. You can do this instead of a legend and, in many cases, it can make your charts easier to read, as your viewer’s eye doesn’t need to scan back and forth between the series lines and the legend.
The dataset to create this effect is as follows: