Introduction to Make a Pie Chart in Excel.
Pie charts are a common type of data visualization. Pie charts make it easier for others to understand the data you are presenting. Each piece of the pie is one ingredient, and all the ingredients make up the entire pie. In other words, pie charts are most useful when you have datasets that add up to 100%.
Almost all spreadsheet programs allow you to create pie charts. Today we will focus on creating pie charts in Microsoft Excel.
How to Create a Pie Chart in Excel
Microsoft Excel is the gold standard for office spreadsheet software. We’ll be using the desktop app, but you can choose the web version. After all, Microsoft Office for the Web is available for free! Let’s see how to create a pie chart from your data in Excel.
- Start with your data. In this example, we see the total amount of money each player won during a poker night.
- Select the Insert tab, and then choose a pie chart command from the Charts group on the ribbon.
- Select the 2D Pie option.
- You will see several pie chart options available. For now, let’s pick a simple 2D pie chart. Once you select the 2D pie chart icon, Excel will generate a pie chart on your worksheet.
You just created a pie chart! Next, we’ll take a look at customizing the look of your pie chart.
Formatting Your Pie Chart
Excel offers several ways to format pie charts.
You can change the title of the chart if you like. Excel automatically uses the column heading that stores your chart data — in this case, Poker Winnings. If you update the title text for this column, the title of the pie chart will update automatically. Alternatively, you can double-click the chart title and edit it.
You must also arrange your data in the correct order. Imagine an analog clock overlaid on top of your pie chart. The biggest slice of the pie should start at 12:00. As you rotate the pie clockwise, the slices should gradually decrease. To do this, you need to sort the numeric data from largest to smallest.
Select the main menu item. Make sure your cursor is in one of the cells in the numeric column. Click the Sort & Filter button on the ribbon and select Sort Highest to Lowest.
The pie chart will update automatically and you are now following the guidelines for ordering data in the pie chart.
Select data labels. To get started, click on the pie chart and select the green plus sign to the right of the chart to display the chart elements.
Now check the box next to data labels.
Expand the data label options and then select “More options …”
The Format Data Labels panel appears.
How Excel Pie Chart Labels Work
In the Format Data Labels panel, you can choose which labels appear in the pie chart.
Select the histogram icon titled Label Options.
Expand the Shortcut Options section and you will see a series of shortcuts that you can select to display in the pie chart.
Here’s how each label works:
- Value from cells. In the example above, a pie chart displays one column of data. If you have a different column of data, you can use this option to use these values when labeling each slice of the pie chart.In other words, you can use data from a different range of cells as data labels. For example, you can add a third column to your data, “Changes Since Last Week.” If you select a value from cells and highlight cells C2: C6, the pie chart looks like this:
Changing Pie Chart Colors
To change the color scheme of a pie chart, first select the pie chart. Then select the brush icon, Chart Styles.
You will see two tabs: Style and Colors. Explore the options on both tabs and choose a color scheme that you like.
If you want to highlight a specific slice of the pie chart, apply a color to that slice, choosing a shade of gray for all other slices.
You can select one slice of the pie chart by selecting the pie chart and then clicking the slice you want to format. You can also move the section you want to highlight a little further from the center to draw attention to it, like this:
Changing Pie Chart Type
To change the chart type, select the Design tab on the Ribbon and select Change Chart Type.
For example, select a donut chart.
Our pie chart now looks like this:
Other Kinds of Charts in Excel
Now that you know the basics of creating a pie chart in Excel, check out our article “Chart Excel Data” for more tips and tricks on how to present your data visualization in a clear and compelling way.
- Series Title: Checking this box will add a data column header to each slice of the pie chart. In our example, each piece of the pie will be labeled “Poker Winnings”.
- Category name: Recommended. Rather than referring to the legend, this option will label each pie segment with category values.
- Meaning: This is checked automatically. Each slice of the pie chart is labeled with a data value corresponding to that slide. In our example, this is the dollar amount won by each poker player.
- Percentage: This is often very useful. What percentage of the whole pie is a piece? Checking this box ensures that the slice is labeled with the percentage that the slice represents.
- Show Leader Lines: If the data label does not fit completely inside the slice, this option will add a line connecting the data label to the slice.
- Legend Key: If you don’t have a category name included, be sure to check this box so the legend appears at the bottom of your pie chart.
- – if you want to see a video on youtube
Introduction to Make a Pie Chart in Excel
Introduction to Make a Pie Chart in Excel.
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