Excel Pie Chart

What Are Pie Charts In Excel?

The Excel Pie Chart is the pictorial representation of statistical data in a circular graph. There are multiple divisions in it, known as sectors. The Pie Chart always uses one data series. While the entire Pie equals to100% of the data, each slice of the Pie displays how much an individual data category contributes.

For example, consider the table below. It shows the % sales contribution of top juice brands in the US.

Pie Chart in Excel Intro

We can Create a Pie Chart to show the above data in a compact graph.

Pie Chart in Excel Intro Example

The above Excel Pie Chart shows the percentage sales contribution values for each slice or the juice brand. We can now analyze the statistics easily, as the slices have sizes relative to the respective brand’s contribution towards sales.

Key Takeaways
  • An Excel Pie Chart depicts the source data in a circular graph. The Pie slices called sectors denote various categories, constituting the whole dataset.
  • We can create a variety of Pie Charts, namely, 2-D, 3-D, Pie of Pie, Bar of Pie, and Doughnut.
  • When we have more than seven categories in a dataset, we can use the Pie of Pie or Bar of Pie Charts.
  • We can customize a Pie Chart by adding data labels, exploding, rotating, sorting, formatting, and changing colors, which makes the chart more readable.

How To Create A Pie Chart In Excel?

We can create Pie Chart in Excel in various ways, namely,

  1. 2-D Pie Chart
  2. 3-D Pie Chart
  3. Pie of Pie Chart
  4. Bar of Pie Chart
  5. Doughnut Chart

First, let us organize our source data w.r.t the following points,

  • The data is either in a single row or column.
  • The data category names are in the first row or column while selecting the data.
  • The dataset should include fewer categories and values greater than 0 and should not have blank cells.

Let us consider the below table to understand each Pie Chart type. The data is,

  • Column A contains the Balanced Diet.
  • Column B contains the Nutrients %.
make Pie Chart in Excel

#1 2-D Pie Chart

We will create an Excel Pie Chart using the 2-D Pie Chart method.

The procedure to create a 2-D Pie Chart are as follows:

Select the cell range A1:B6 > go to the “Insert” tab > go to the “Charts” group > click on the “Insert Pie or Doughnut Chart” drop-down > click the “Pie” type in the “2-D Pie” option, as shown below.

2D - 1

The 2-D Pie Chart is created as shown in the image below.

Pie Chart in Excel 2D - 2

#2 3-D Pie Chart

We will create an Excel Pie Chart using the 3-D Pie Chart method. The 3-D Pie Chart is similar to the 2-D Pie plot, except it uses a third-axis perspective to represent the data.

The procedure to create a 3-D Pie Chart are as follows:

Select the cell range A1:B6 > go to the “Insert” tab > go to the “Charts” group > click on the “Insert Pie or Doughnut Chart” drop-down > click the “3-D Pie” option, as shown below.

Pie Chart in Excel 3D - 1

The 3-D Pie Chart is created as shown in the image below.

3D - 2

#3 Pie of Pie Chart

We will create an Excel Pie Chart using the Pie of Pie Chart method. When there are several smaller slices, it is best to choose the Pie of Pie Chart.

The Excel Pie Chart has newly added data [rows 7 & 8]. This table will give us a Pie Chart with many small slices.

Pie of Pie

The procedure to create a Pie of Pie Chart for our new data are as follows:

Select the cell range A1:B8 > go to the “Insert” tab > go to the “Charts” group > click on the “Insert Pie or Doughnut Chart” drop-down > click the “Pie of Pie” type in the “2-D Pie” option, as shown below.

 Pie of Pie - 1

The Pie of Pie Chart is created as shown in the image below.

Pie Chart in Excel Pie of Pie - 2

Since there are more slices, the last three categories (Minerals, Water, and Dietary Fiber) are combined in the primary Pie Chart as “Other” and shown in detail in the secondary Pie Chart. Finally, the total value in percentage (10%) is in the main Pie Chart, in Light Green color.

[Special Note: By default, Excel plots the last three categories of the dataset in the secondary Pie Chart, irrespective of the percentage. Therefore,

  • We can arrange the source data in descending order to move the smaller percentage categories to the secondary Pie Chart.
  • We can also manually select the data categories we wish to represent in the secondary Pie Chart. First, we need to set the Split Series By option as Position, Value, Percentage value, or Custom in the Series Options section in the Format Data Series We can then set the corresponding value to move the required categories to the second chart].

#4 Bar of Pie Chart

We will create an Excel Pie Chart using the Bar of Pie Chart method. The Bar of Pie Chart works on the same concept as the previous Pie of Pie Chart, but the second chart is a Bar Chart.

The procedure to create a Bar of Pie Chart for our new data are as follows:

Select the cell range A1:B8 > go to the “Insert” tab > go to the “Charts” group > click on the “Insert Pie or Doughnut Chart” drop-down > click the “Bar of Pie” type in the “2-D Pie” option, as shown below.

Pie Chart in Excel Bar - 1

The Bar of Pie Chart is created as shown in the image below. The last three categories also move to the secondary chart as a bar graph.

Pie Chart in Excel Bar - 2

#5 Doughnut Chart

We will create an Excel Pie Chart using the Doughnut Chart method. We can use this chart when we have multiple data series. The plot is hollow inside and displays the data points in rings, with the inner-most ring representing the first data series.

The modified balanced diet table with newly added data series is:

  • Column A contains the Balanced Diet.
  • Column B contains the Day 1 Nutrients %.
  • Column C contains the Day 2 Nutrients %.
Doughnut

The procedure to create a Pie Chart in Excel using the Doughnut method are as follows:

Select the cell range A1:C6 > go to the “Insert” tab > go to the “Charts” group > click on the “Insert Pie or Doughnut Chart” drop-down > click the “Doughnut” option, as shown below.

Doughnut.1

The Doughnut Chart is created as shown in the image below.

Doughnut.2

Customizing An Excel Pie Graph

Now that we have learnt about various Excel Pie Charts, though self-explanatory, we can customize the charts to be more informative.

We can customize the Pie Chart in Excel w.r.t to the following options,

  • Adding data labels.
  • Changing colors.
  • Exploding a Pie
  • Rotating a Pie
  • Sorting slices by size.
  • Formatting Options

We will use the following dataset, then Create a Pie Chart and customize them.

The data is as follows:

  • Column A contains the Vegetables.
  • Column B contains the January Sales in %.
 Customize

We will now Create a Pie Chart.

Select the cell range A1:B7 > go to the “Insert” tab > go to the “Charts” group > click on the “Insert Pie or Doughnut Chart” drop-down > click the “Pie” type in the “2-D Pie” option, as shown below.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize chart

#Adding Data Labels

We will customize the Pie Chart in Excel by Adding Data Labels.

Scenario 1: The procedure to add data labels are as follows:

Click on the Pie Chart > click the ‘+’ icon > check/tick the “Data Labels” checkbox in the “Chart Element” box > select the “Data Labels” right arrow > select the “Outside End” option.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Add Labels.1

We get the following output.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Add Labels.2

Scenario 2: The procedure to show the data categories with the data labels are as follows:

Click on the chart area, the Design tab appears on the ribbon > select the “Design” tab > go to the “Chart Layout” group > click on the “Quick Layout” drop-down > click on any layout type, here “Layout 1”, as shown below.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Add Labels.3

We get the following output. We can now see the data categories with the labels.

Customize - Add Labels.4

Scenario 3: The step-by-step procedure to format data labels are as follows:

Step 1: Click on the Pie Chart > click the ‘+’ icon > check/tick the “Data Labels” checkbox in the “Chart Element” box > select the “Data Labels” right arrow > select the “More Options…”, as shown below.

Customize - Add Labels.5

The “Format Data Labels” pane opens.

format data labels

Step 2: Now, in the “Label Options”, check/tick the “Category Name” checkbox > select the “Outside End” option for the “Label Position” [Note: The “Percentage” checkbox in the “Label Options” will already be selected, as the chart is of percentage data type], as shown below.

Customize - Add Labels.6

We can drag and adjust the label placements too. The final Excel Pie Chart is shown below.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Add Labels.2

[Note: The above plot is a percentage data type. For non-percentage data, select the Value, Percentage under the Label Options in the Format Data Table pane to display the % for each category].

#Changing Colors

A Pie Chart in Excel is created with default colors. We will customize the chart by Changing Colors.

Scenario 1: The procedure to Change Pie Chart Color Theme are as follows:

Click on the Pie Chart > click the “Chart Styles” paint brush icon > go to the “Color” tab > select any palette, here the “Colorful” [color palette 3] option, as shown below.

Customize - Change Color.1

Alternatively, click on the chart area > select the “Design” or “Chart Design” tab > go to the “Chart Styles” group > click on the “Change Colors” drop-down > select any palette, here the “Colorful” [color palette 3] option, as shown below.  

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Change Color.2

We get the following output.

Customize - Change Color.3

Scenario 2: When we change the Pie Charts color, the data labels may not be visible in slices with darker shades. The procedure to Change Individual Slice Color are as follows:

Click any slice twice, here “Bell Pepper”> select the “Format” tab > go to the “Shape Styles” group > click on the “Shape Fill” drop-down > choose the desired color from the palette, here “Blue”.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Change Color.4

We get the following output. [Bell Pepper changed from Brown to Blue color]

Customize - Change Color.5

#Exploding A Pie Chart

We can explode the entire chart or individual slices to highlight data points in an Excel Pie Chart.

Scenario 1: The procedure to Explode the Whole Pie Chart are as follows:

Right-click on the chart > select the “Format Data Series…” option.

Customize - Exploding.1

In the “Format Data Series” pane > select the “Series Options” tab > set the required value for “Pie Explosion”, here 15%.

Customize - Exploding.2

The exploded Pie Chart is shown in the below image.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Exploding.3

Scenario 2: The procedure to Explode an Individual Slice are as follows:

Click on the required slice twice, here “Potato” > right-click on the chart > select the “Format Data Point” option.

Customize - Exploding.4

In the “Format Data Point” pane > select the “Series Options” tab > set the required value for “Pie Explosion”, here 9%.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Exploding.5

[Note: To explode more slices, we must follow the same procedure for each slice individually].

Alternatively, click on the required slice twice and then drag it away from the Pie’s center.

Customize - Exploding.7

The exploded slice in the Pie Chart is shown in the below image.

Customize - Exploding.6

#Rotating A Pie Chart

The slices in an Excel Pie Chart appear according to the order of the data categories in the spreadsheet. We can rotate the Pie Chart for our analysis or to highlight any particular sector.

Scenario 1: The procedure to Rotate a 2-D Pie Chart are as follows:

Step 1: Right-click on the Pie Chart > select the “Format Data Series” option, as shown below.

Customize - Exploding.1

Step 2: In the “Format Data Series” pane, go to the “Series Option” tab > drag the “Angle of first slice” slider to 111 degrees. [Alternatively, enter the angle as 111, “Angle of first slice” field].

Customize - Rotate.1

We get the following output.

Rotate.2

Scenario 1: The procedure to Rotate a 3-D Pie Chart are as follows:

Step 1: Right-click on the 3-D Pie chart > select the “3-D Rotation…” option.

Rotate.3

Step 2: In the “Format Chart Area” pane, go to the “Effects” tab > click on the “3-D Rotation” right arrow > set the angles as desired, here, X Rotation = 110, Y Rotation = 30, and Perspective = 15, as shown below.

Customize - Rotate.4

We get the following output.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Rotate.5

#Sorting Slices by Size

We can customize an Excel Pie Chart by Sorting Slices by Size. First, let us sort the source data.

Step 1: Select the “Insert” tab > go to the “Tables” group > click on the “PivotTable” option.

Customize - Sort.1

Step 2: The “Create PivotTable” window pops up. In the “Choose the data that you want to analyze” group, choose the “Select a table or range” and add the excel cell reference or select the cell range in the “Table/Range:” field > In the “Choose where you want the PivotTable report to be placed” group, choose the “Existing Worksheet” and add the cell reference or select the cell in the “Location:” field > click on “OK”.

Pie Chart in Excel Customize - Sort.2

Step 3: Right-click on the pivot table > click on the “Show field” option, as shown below.

Customize - Sort.3

The “PivotTable Fields” pane opens.

Sort.4

Step 4: Click on the “Values” field entry down arrow and select the “Value Field Settings”.

Customize - Sort.5

The “Value Field Settings” window pops up. Next, click on “Number Format”.

Customize - Sort.6

The “Format Cells” window pops up. Go to the “Category” group > Select the “Percentage” option > click on “OK” [The “Format Cells” window closes] à again click on “OK” [The “Value Field Settings” window closes].

Customize - Sort.7

We will now get the source data in the correct format in the pivot table, as shown below.

Customize - Sort.8

Step 5: Click the Row Labels filter down arrow (AutoSort button) > select “More Sort Options…”.

Customize - Sort.8 - 1

The “Sort” window pops up. Choose the required data order, ascending or descending, and click “OK”.

Customize - Sort.8 - 2

Step 6: Select the pivot table > go to the “Insert” tab > go to the “Charts” group > click on the “Insert Pie or Doughnut Chart” drop-down > click the “Pie” type in the “2-D Pie” option, as shown below.

Customize - Sort.8 - 3

We will get the below Excel Pie Chart with the slices’ sorting option.

Customize - Sort.8 - 4

If we click on the Vegetables filter in the Pie Chart, we can sort and filter the required slices.

#Formatting Options

We can customize our Excel Pie Chart using the Formatting Options.

Scenario 1: The procedure of formatting using the Effects Tab of the Format Data Series Pane are:

Step 1: Right-click on the Pie Chart > click on the “Format Data Series” option.

Customize - Exploding.1

Step 2: In the “Format Data Series” pane, click on the “Effects” tab > choose the required formatting options like Shadow, Glow, etc., as shown below.

Customize - Format.1

Scenario 2: The procedure of formatting using the Format Tab in The Ribbon are:

Click on any part of the Pie Chart we aim to format > the “Format” tab appears on the ribbon. We can then choose our desired formatting options to customize the specific item.

Customize - Format.2

Important Things To Note

  • An Excel Pie Chart is one of the best options for graphically depicting data with limited categories.
  • When we Create a Pie Chart, we must organize our source data in a single row/column, and the data category names should be in the first row/column.
  • The dataset should have fewer categories, values greater than 0, and no blank cells.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to add percentages to Pie Chart in Excel?


We will add percentages to the below sample table with a 2-D Pie Chart.



The steps to add percentages to the Pie Chart are:

Step 1: Click on the Pie Chart > click the ‘+’ icon > check/tick the “Data Labels” checkbox in the “Chart Element” box > select the “Data Labels” right arrow > select the “More Options…”, as shown below.

FAQ 1.1

Step 2: The Format Data Labels pane opens. Go to the “Label Options”, and check/tick the “Percentage” checkbox.

FAQ 1.2

Thus, the final Pie Chart with the percentages is shown below:

FAQ 1.3

Why is my Pie Chart blank in Excel?


The Pie Chart will be blank if the required data series have text values instead of numerical data.

Can we have 2 Pie Charts in Excel?


We can have 2 Pie Charts in Excel using the “Pie of Pie Chart” under the “2-D Pie Chart” in the “Insert” tab.

The “Pie of Pie Chart” automatically creates two Pies. The primary Pie shows the bigger slices and a slice denoting the sum of the last three categories, the source data. And the secondary Pie shows slices for the last three categories, separately, in the source data.

Download Template

This article must help understand the Excel Pie Chart, with its formula and examples. We can download the template here to use it instantly.

This has been a guide to Excel Pie Chart. Here we create, format & custom pie charts, 2-D & 3-D Pie Doughnut Pie types with examples & downloadable template. You can learn more from the following articles – 

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