I have a data series that consists of multiple data series. I want to graph the average and the variance. I already calculated a single data series for the average and for the variance.

Now I want to display the data series with variance and I would like to use the error bars feature to display the variance. The problem is that you can only enter a single value for the whole data series. Is there a way to solve this with Google sheets or do I have to resort to Excel, where this is possible? I would like to do it with sheets, so I can collaborate on this with my colleagues.

This is my current graph, as you can see only one constant variance value is possible:

The current graph with only one variance value graphed

  • Would be nice as a new feature :-)
    – matanox
    Commented Sep 28, 2019 at 18:25

2 Answers 2


Not really a better answer but more expressing your idea in a different way. Plot Average-variance under, variance under, variance over:

WA101633 example

The above is a stacked area chart with the first series transparent.

  • Accepted the answer because of the nice graph visualizing what I meant. Currently this seems to be the only way to get variance plotted.
    – Paul Weber
    Commented Jul 22, 2018 at 19:17

One solution that came into my mind would be to create two additional data series: Average - variance, Average + variance and graph these.

This would not display as error bars, but the variance would be clearly visible.

I will try this workaround but I am still waiting for a better answer.

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