How to Make a T Chart on Google Docs

Written by Ivana Google Workplace / Docs

- 7 min read
Key Points

To create a T chart in Google Docs:

  1. Click on 'Insert' in the toolbar.
  2. Select 'Table' and select the ‘2x2’ table size.
  3. Select the table and click on the downward arrow in the top-right corner of the table.
  4. Select the outline border.
  5. Click on the ‘Border color’ in the toolbar.
  6. Select the white color.
  7. Again, select the whole table, click on the downward arrow, but now select the inner border.
  8. Click on the ‘Border width’ in the toolbar menu and select ‘3pt’.
  9. Drag the bottom border to make the lower row longer.

The T chart is a convenient graphic organizer in Google Docs that helps to organize the information into two columns. It is usually used for contrast and comparison of two items side by side in a ‘T’ shaped table, for example, books, characters, ideas, etc. Google Docs makes it really easy to insert a T chart. This post presents how to make a T chart in Google Docs.

How to create a T chart in Google Docs

Inserting a T chart in Google Docs is straightforward. But you might need some help if you’ve never done it before. Follow the quick steps below:

  1. Open a Google Docs document.
  2. Click on ‘Insert’ in the toolbar menu.

Click on 'Insert'

  1. Select ‘Table’.
  2. Select the ‘2x2’ table size.

 Select 'Table' and select ‘2x2’ table size

  1. Next, select all the cells in the inserted table.

Select all cells in the table

  1. You’ll see a downward arrow in the top-right corner of the table - click on it.

Click on the downward arrow in the top-right corner of the table

  1. From the pop-up box, select the outline border (top-right option).

Select the outline border

  1. After selecting the outline border, click on the ‘Border color’ drop-down menu in the toolbar.

click on the Border color

  1. Select the white color, and the outline border will disappear.

select the white color

  1. Next, select all the cells in the table again, but now select the inner border (left of the outline border) from the pop-up window.

select all cells in the table

select the inner border

  1. Click on the ‘Border width’ in the toolbar menu and change the size to ‘3pt’.

Click on the ‘Border width’

change the size to ‘3pt’

  1. You can also drag the bottom border of the T chart to make the lower row longer, just like it’s presented in the images.

drag the bottom border of the T chart

  1. Now you have your T chart ready.

T chart in Google Docs

You can now edit the left and right headers to the top row of the T chart. These labels define the information that is compared or contrasted in the columns below.

Then you can proceed to enter the other information in the cells. Additionally, you can resize the rows and columns depending on the information you need to insert into them.

You can also use this general T chart template for Google Docs if you need to create multiple tables at once. Additionally, many other resources on the net offer pre-made T chart templates you can download for different purposes.

The double-column T chart can also be expanded to present three items, although it deviates from the original ‘T’ shape.

These T charts are often used in education for record-keeping or teaching.

Why are T charts used in Google Docs?

T charts are a tabular form of presenting data that visualizes the data clearly and understandably in order to evaluate the pros and cons, before and after, then and now.

Most commonly, people use them for:

  • Sorting data.
  • Comparing similarities and differences between two items.
  • Presenting a change.
  • Organizing data into two categories.
  • Listing problems and solutions.

After presenting the purpose of a T chart, let’s see some concrete situations where you could use a T chart in Google Docs.

  • Pros and cons.
  • Do’s and don’ts.
  • Issues and fixes.
  • Effects and causes.
  • Strengths and weaknesses.
  • Concepts and examples.
  • Right and wrong facts.
  • Merits and demerits.
  • History and present.
  • Characteristics and traits.

Explore also: How to move a table in Google Docs.

What are the limitations of a T chart in Google Docs?

Now that you know how to create a T chart in Google Docs and know the benefits and use, you also need to learn the limitations of the T chart to have the complete picture.

Some of the limitations you may experience when using a T chart are:

  1. It can’t present a more complex relationship between multiple variables.
  2. The T chart doesn’t have advanced graphical tools, which makes the data difficult to analyze.
  3. It’s limited to comparing only two items.
  4. You can’t include more information and add other dimensions outside of the two-column labels.
  5. It doesn’t offer an option to represent mathematical calculations or formulae.

However, if you have a more complex data set or more data points and you need a more advanced chart, Google Docs offers four different types of charts you can choose from:

  • Bar chart
  • Column chart
  • Line chart
  • Pie chart

You can find these charts in Google Docs in ‘Insert’ > ‘Chart’ tab. There’s also the option to import a chart from Google Sheets.

To edit a chart, select it, click on the drop-down menu in the top right corner, and select ‘Open source’. When Google Sheets opens, enter the information you want to have in the chart. When you are done editing, go back to Google Docs and click ‘Update’ next to the drop-down menu.

If you found this article interesting, you might also like to learn how to make and use a Google Docs journal template.