About this lesson
Learn how to build an effective pie chart, and when you should and shouldn’t use them.
Multiple versions of this lesson are available, choose the appropriate version for you:
Building pie charts in Excel 2016.
How to build an effective pie chart, and when you shouldn’t use them.
Where/when to use the technique
When you need to convey a simple percentage value or a maximum of 3 data series that need to be displayed as a proportion. (If there are more than 3 data series, reach to a bar or column chart instead.)
Before you start, be aware
- Your brain is not good at working with angles or areas
- If you have more than 3 data series, move to a different chart style (bar or column)
Creating a Pie Chart
- Select A7:B8
- Go to Insert --> Recommended Charts and select the pie chart
- Select the chart title, press the equals key, click on A4 and press Enter
- Click on the pie chart
- Right click and choose Add Data Labels
- Right click the Data Labels and choose Format Data Labels
- Select Percentage and clear the Values
- Set the label position to Center
- Click the largest area of the pie twice (slowly, not a double click) to select the series
- Change the Outline to a dark green from the mini-toolbar
- Click the smallest area of the pie twice (slowly, not a double click) to select the series
- Change the Outline to a dark red from the mini-toolbar
- Select a worksheet cell, then right click the entire pie
- Set the fill to “No Fill”
- Right click the smallest point on the pie and choose “Format Data Point”
- Set the Point Explosion to 10%
Lesson notes are only available for subscribers.