Google Data Studio is a phenomenal tool for creating interactive dashboards, charts, maps, etc. It’s free and easy to use. You can easily share your dashboard with others by exporting it as a Google Sheets or CSV file. However, you cannot export the entire dashboard as a single file. Instead, you need to download each chart individually. This is not ideal if you want to send the report to someone else. In this article, I will walk you through the process of creating a PDF of all the charts in your Data Studio dashboard.
Create a new project in Google Data Studio
First, we need to create a new project in Google Data Studio. Click on New Project at the top right corner of the page.
Select “Google Cloud Platform” from the list of options. Enter a name for your project and click Create.
You should now be able to see the Dashboard view under the Projects tab. Click on the Dashboard icon to open up the dashboard.
Add a Chart
Now that we have created our project, let’s add some charts. We are going to start off by adding a simple bar chart. The first thing you will notice when you add a new chart is that there is no way to change its size. The default size is small enough to fit into most screens but large enough to display all the information clearly. If you would like to make the chart larger, you will need to resize it manually. To do so, drag the chart outwards until you reach the edge of the screen. Then release the mouse button and the chart will snap back to its original position.
A window similar to the one below will pop up.
In the left-hand side panel, select the type of chart you would like to add. For example, here I am selecting Bar Chart.
In the middle section, enter the values for the X and Y axes. Here I am entering the following:
The last step is to choose what kind of chart legend you would like to include. By default, the chart includes a legend. However, if you don’t want a legend, simply uncheck the box next to Legend.
Once you have added the chart, you will see the following message appear:
The chart has been saved. Now, let’s move onto another chart.
Add Another Chart
To add another chart, just repeat steps 1 – 4 above. Once you have added two charts, you will get the following message:
The chart has successfully been added. Let’s save the changes made to the dashboard and then close the dashboard.
Export the Report As A PDF
We now know how to create charts in Data Studio. But how do we actually export them? There are several ways to do so. One way is to copy the URL of the chart and paste it into a browser. However, this option does not work well if you want to share the report with other people. Another option is to export the entire dashboard as an Excel spreadsheet. However, this also requires copying the URL of each chart. Finally, there is a much better solution. It involves using the Export feature built into Data Studio.
Open the dashboard again and click on the Export icon located at the bottom right corner of the page:
This will bring up a menu where you can select which format you would like to export the report in. Select PDF from the dropdown menu.
You will see a dialog box appear and you will be able to specify the location and filename of the exported report. Simply leave everything blank and click Save.
Your report will now be downloaded as a.pdf document.
If you want to edit the report before downloading it, you can use Google Docs or Microsoft Word. You can find more details about exporting reports here.
Downloading Reports From Other Sources
If you have access to Google Drive, you can download your reports directly from there. This is very convenient because you can easily share the files with others.
Click on the File menu and select Download as…
You can now select the file type you would like to download (in my case, I selected.pdf)
Choose the folder where you would like to store the file (I chose Downloads).
You can now open the file in any program that supports PDF documents.
Creating Customized Charts
Now that you know how to create basic charts, let’s learn how to customize them further. In order to do so, we will need to import some external libraries. To do so, go back to the Libraries tab and click on Import External Library.
A new window will pop up where you can search for the library you would like to import. Click on Install button to install the library.
Now, let’s return to our dashboard and click on the Add New Column button.
Enter the name of the column you would like to add. For example, I named mine “Year”.
Enter the value you would like to display in the column. For example, I entered 2016.
Finally, click on the Insert Column Icon.
Repeat steps 2-4 above to add another column.
In order to change the color of a specific cell, hover over the cell and press CTRL + CMD + U.
In order to remove a column, simply drag it out of the table.
To delete a row, just click on the Delete Row icon.
To rename a column, double click on its header.
Adding Images to Your Dashboard
Another way to make your dashboard look more professional is by adding images. We already saw how to insert images into tables and charts. Let’s see how we can add images to our dashboards.
First, let’s create a simple image. Go back to the Libraries tab, click on Create Image and enter the following values:
Description: A sample image
Size: 300×300 pixels
Next, let’s add the image to our dashboard. First, click on the Add New Cell Icon.
Then, choose the cell where you would like to place the image.
Next, click on the Insert Image icon.
Choose the image you created earlier and click OK.
That’s all! Now, you can repeat these steps to add multiple images to your dashboard.
We have seen how to create charts in Google Data Studio. We also learned how to export those charts as PDFs. Finally, we learned how to add images to our dashboard.
I love Google Data Studio and this site is all about sharing tips and trick and help users get the most of out Google’s free data visualization tool