How to use Heatmaps in Google Sheets

Google Sheets
Productivity tips
February 12, 2024


Sometimes your data sets are filled with numbers and making sense of it at first look it’s hard. A great tool to give depth to data, are heat maps. This article, part of our "Google Sheets Tip of the Week" series, explores the ins and outs of creating heatmaps in Google Sheets.

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Does Google have a heatmap tool?

Yes, Google Sheets provides a built-in feature for creating heatmaps using conditional formatting. This eliminates the need for external tools, offering a convenient solution for users seeking to enhance data visualization within the familiar environment of Google Sheets.

How do I create a heatmap in Google Sheets?

Creating a heatmap in Google Sheets involves selecting the desired cells, accessing the Conditional Formatting option, and choosing between Single color or Color scale based on your visualization needs. The platform's intuitive interface makes it accessible for users of all levels.

We’ll show how in the next sections.

Understanding Heatmaps in Google Sheets

Concept and Purpose

Heatmaps in Google Sheets utilize color gradients to visually represent data values. These dynamic visualizations are essential for businesses aiming to quickly highlight key data points within large datasets. Whether it's analyzing customer engagement levels or assessing sales performance across different regions, heatmaps provide an intuitive way to spot trends and outliers.

In Google Sheets, the process involves leveraging the conditional formatting feature, which adjusts cell colors based on their values. This not only aids in identifying high and low values but also helps draw attention to outliers that may require further examination.

Types of Heatmaps

There are two common types of heatmaps in Google Sheets: single-color and multi-color heatmaps. Single-color heatmaps use a gradient that becomes darker or lighter based on data values, providing a straightforward representation. On the other hand, multi-color heatmaps employ a range of colors to emphasize variations within the dataset.

Diverging heatmaps, a subtype of multi-color heatmaps, introduce a central value. Lower values are represented by one color, while higher values are represented by another. This nuanced approach offers a more detailed insight into the data distribution.

Understanding the nuances of each heatmap type is crucial for effective data visualization in Google Sheets. Now, let's dive into the practical aspect - how to create a heatmap in Google Sheets.

How to Create a Heatmap in Google Sheets

Step-by-Step Guide

Creating a heatmap in Google Sheets is a straightforward process that involves utilizing the platform's built-in features. Follow these steps to bring your data to life:

  • Select the Cells:
  • Begin by choosing the cells where you want to apply the heatmap. This can encompass your entire dataset or specific clusters of cells relevant to your analysis.
  • Access Conditional Formatting:
  • Navigate to the Format > Conditional formatting option in the menu bar. This action will open the Conditional Formatting sidebar.
  • Choose Color Scale:
  • Within the Conditional Formatting sidebar, choose between Single color or Color scale based on your preference. If you're aiming for a single color heatmap or a multi-color heatmap, this selection is pivotal.
  • Generate Default Gradient:
  • Google Sheets will automatically generate a default color gradient for your heatmap. This immediate visualization allows you to assess the distribution of values in your selected data range.
  • Note: For more customization, you can choose a custom color scale by clicking the Minpoint, Midpoint, and Maxpoint color selectors. These colors represent the lowest, middle, and highest values in your selected data range, respectively.

By following these steps, you've successfully created a heatmap in Google Sheets. Now, let's address some common questions related to heatmap creation.

Dokin: Elevating Your Data Integration Game

Introducing Dokin

While Google Sheets empowers users with robust tools for data visualization, the true potential is unleashed when combined with a seamless data integration solution like Dokin. Dokin stands out as a no-code platform designed for modern business teams, offering a hassle-free way to connect data from CRM, marketing channels, SQL databases, and more to Google Sheets, Slides, and Docs.

Streamlined Data Reporting Automation

Dokin simplifies and streamlines the often complex process of data reporting. Manual data exports and the rebuilding of stale dashboards become a thing of the past. With Dokin, you can pull live data directly into pre-built Sheets dashboards, ensuring that your insights are always up-to-date.

Customizable Templates and Built-In Integrations

Dokin comes equipped with customizable templates and built-in data integrations with a range of popular platforms, including HubSpot, Google Analytics, Notion, Airtable, Search Console, LinkedIn Ads, Jira, Trello, and more. This extensive integration capability allows for a seamless flow of data, saving valuable time and reducing the risk of errors in the reporting process.

Connecting Business Apps to Google Sheets

One of Dokin's key strengths is its ability to serve as a bridge between your business applications and Google Sheets. Whether it's CRM data, marketing analytics, or project management updates, Dokin ensures that your Google Sheets stay synchronized with the latest information.


In conclusion, harnessing the power of Google Sheets heatmaps is not just about visualization; it's about gaining actionable insights. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create compelling visualizations within Google Sheets.

However, the story doesn't end there. Dokin takes your data capabilities to the next level by providing a seamless integration solution, allowing you to go beyond static visualizations. Understand trends in customer behavior, sales performance, or product popularity, and leverage these insights to drive targeted marketing campaigns, refine product development strategies, or allocate resources effectively.

Ready to leverage the full potential of Google Sheets for your business operations? Try Dokin for a seamless integration of live data from your business platforms into your spreadsheets.

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Jacopo Proietti

Co-founder @Dokin
Jacopo, a co-founder of Dokin, boasts 8 years in finance, having worked as a finance manager at Ogury and head of Financial Planning and Control at BlaBlaCar.
His passion for data integration led to the creation of Dokin, a game-changer for modern business teams. With customizable templates and built-in data connections, Dokin allows modern CMOs and CFOs to streamlines data reporting across Google Workspace applications.

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