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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:
Download the ‘before’ and ‘after’ Excel workbooks from the video tutorial and try the lesson yourself.Building Pie Charts - 2010.xlsx
9.8 KB Building Pie Charts - 2010 - Completed.xlsx
11.9 KB Building Pie Charts - Extra Practice.xlsx
How to build an effective pie chart, and when you shouldn’t use them.
When to use
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 > Charts > Pie and choose the 2-D pie in the top left corner
- Select the chart, go to Chart Tools > Layout > Chart Title > Above Chart
- Select the chart title, press the equals key, click on A4 and press Enter
- Chart Tools > Layout > Legend > Show Legend at Bottom
- Right click the pie and choose Add Data Labels
- Right click the Data Labels and choose Format Data Labels
- Select Percentage, clear the Values, set the label position to Center and click Close
- Right click the largest area of the pie and choose Format Data Series
- Set the Border Color to a Solid line, with a dark green colour
- Set the Fill to No fill
- Without leaving the dialog, select the smaller pie wedge
- Set the Border Color to a Solid line, with a dark red colour
- On the Series Options tab, set the Point Explosion to 10% and click Close
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