How to Create a Heat Map in Google Sheets


Getting all of your data organized in a Google Sheets document is a great way to take command of your information. However, even at that point large data sets can still be overwhelming and difficult to really understand. One way to get a deeper understanding of your data is to apply a heat map to it. Applying a heat map in Google Sheets gives you a clean, visual representation of the highs, lows, and all of the layers in between for specific data elements. Thankfully, creating a heat map in Google Sheets can be done with a few quick clicks.

Some of the images associated with the steps are included inline below. All images associated with these steps can be seen in the embedded YouTube video. Also, please note that you’re not able to leave a comment directly on this article. If you have a question or feedback, please leave it on the YouTube video.

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Steps to Create a Heat Map in Google Sheets

  1. Open a web browser, navigate to, and then open the Google Sheet with the data set you want to lay a heat map over. In the examples associated with this article I’ve got a data set showing Tom Brady’s career passing stats.
  2. Highlight the data you want to apply a heat map to. In this example, I’ll highlight my column that shows passing yards.
  3. Click “Format” in the menu across the top of the screen to open a drop-down menu, and then click “Conditional Formatting” in that menu. A Conditional Format Rules window opens on the screen.
  4. Click “Color Scale” in this window. The color scale options are now shown in this window, and you’ll see the current color scale logic applied to your chosen data set in your Google Sheets sheet.
  5. In the Apply to Range section, verify the cell range that contains the data you want to apply a heat map to. Next, navigate to the Format Rules section. You can click the preview of your color scale to see other color scale options, or event create your own. You can scroll down in this window to set a minimum, mid, and maximum value, and change the colors associated with those values. You’ll see any changes you make in this section applied to your data set automatically. Click “Done” when you’re finished setting your conditional formatting heat map rules. The conditional formatting window will close.

About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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