Charts provide pictorial representations of the data in your spreadsheet. Charts can be used to emphasize trends shown by the data, and charts often make it easier for someone looking at the data to understand what the data really means.
Calc provides a number of different chart types that can be used to depict your numerical data. Some of the most useful chart types are
Line charts Line charts are used to show change over time. They emphasize the highs and the lows in the data. Line charts can show business growth over time or the sinking of a particular stock fund over time.
Column/bar charts These types of charts are useful for comparing how different groups of data points compare. For example, you can see how different sales regions compare in terms of quarterly or yearly sales. Column charts can also contain multiple data points so that you could chart data related to all four quarters of the year, with each quarter represented as a separate column for each of your sales regions.
Area charts These charts are useful for showing trends over long periods of time because they emphasize the general direction of the data points (whether values are going up or going down). Rather than the severe peaks and valleys that you see in line charts, area charts emphasize the area under the graph line, showing a gradual rise or drop over time rather than the short-term fluctuations shown by line charts.
Pie charts Pie charts show how the parts relate to the whole. For example, if you want to view pictorially how your budget money is spent by category (such as supplies, salaries, and so on), a pie chart could be used to view each spending category and its percent in relation to the whole budget.
Calc also provides scatter charts and net charts. Scatter charts are used to identify data clusters, which show a correlation between data points. Net charts show how uniform a set of data points are that have been plotted.
When you create a chart in Calc, you are walked through the steps of selecting the chart type and adding labels or other information to the chart. A new chart can be created as an object on an existing sheet in your spreadsheet (such as the same sheet that contains the data), or you can choose to place the chart on a new sheet.