Step by Step Instructions for Making a Pie Chart in Excel

Creating a pie chart in Excel is a straightforward process. First, gather your data and input it into an Excel spreadsheet. Next, highlight the data you want to include in your pie chart. Then, go to the ‘Insert’ tab, click on ‘Insert Pie or Doughnut Chart’, and choose the pie chart style you prefer. Finally, customize your pie chart by adding titles, adjusting colors, and tweaking other settings as needed.

Once you’ve created your pie chart, you’ll be able to visually represent your data in a clear and concise manner. This can be particularly useful for presentations, reports, or any situation where you need to display data in an easy-to-understand format.


Pie charts are a popular way to represent data visually. They show the relative sizes of data points as portions of a whole, making them ideal for displaying proportions and percentages. In the world of business, education, and even personal finance, pie charts can help to simplify complex data and make it more digestible for the audience.

But why should you learn to create a pie chart in Excel? Well, Excel is one of the most widely-used spreadsheet programs in the world, and it’s packed with features that make it easy to create professional-looking pie charts. Whether you’re a student trying to present data for a project, a business professional looking to impress at a meeting, or just someone who loves to organize their personal data, knowing how to make a pie chart in Excel can be a valuable skill.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of creating a pie chart in Excel. By the end, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to create your own pie chart and customize it to suit your needs. So, let’s get started!

Step by Step Tutorial for Creating a Pie Chart in Excel

Before we dive into the steps, let’s get an understanding of what we’ll achieve. By following these instructions, you’ll create a visually appealing pie chart that represents your data accurately and can be customized to fit the aesthetics of your project or presentation.

Step 1: Input your data into Excel

Enter your data into an Excel spreadsheet, making sure it’s organized and labeled clearly.

Inputting your data correctly is crucial because a pie chart represents the parts of a whole. Make sure that the data is in one column or row, and the labels are in the adjacent column or row. This organization will make selecting the data for the pie chart a breeze.

Step 2: Highlight your data

Select the data you wish to include in your pie chart by clicking and dragging over the cells.

This step is pretty straightforward, but be careful not to include any irrelevant cells in your selection. Only highlight the cells with the data you want to be represented in your pie chart.

Step 3: Insert the pie chart

Go to the ‘Insert’ tab, click on ‘Pie Chart’, and choose the style of pie chart you prefer.

Excel offers several pie chart styles, including 3-D pie charts and doughnut charts. Consider your audience and the type of presentation you’re creating when selecting a style.

Step 4: Customize your pie chart

Add titles, adjust colors, and tweak other settings in the ‘Chart Tools’ tabs that appear when your chart is selected.

Customizing your pie chart is where you can get creative. Add a chart title that summarizes what the data represents, choose color schemes that match your presentation, and adjust the legend to make it clear and easy to understand.


Visual AppealPie charts are visually appealing and can make your data look more interesting and engaging.
Easy to ReadThey are straightforward to read and understand, even for those who may not be familiar with data analysis.
Comparative AnalysisPie charts make it easy to compare different data points at a glance.


Not Suitable for Large Data SetsPie charts can become cluttered and hard to read when there are too many data points.
Can Be MisleadingIf not designed carefully, pie charts can give a misleading representation of the data.
Limited InformationThey only show a snapshot of data and do not provide detailed information about the data set.

Additional Information

When creating a pie chart in Excel, it’s essential to consider the size of your data set. Pie charts work best with smaller data sets where the differences between data points are clear and significant. If you have a large data set with many similar values, consider using a different type of chart, such as a bar graph or line chart.

Another tip is to limit the number of slices in your pie chart. Too many slices can make your chart look crowded and can confuse your audience. A good rule of thumb is to have no more than six to eight slices in a single pie chart.

Lastly, think about the story you want your data to tell. A pie chart can be a powerful storytelling tool, so make sure the way you present your data aligns with the message you want to convey. Use contrasting colors to highlight important data points, and don’t forget to label your chart clearly so your audience can follow along.


  1. Input your data into Excel.
  2. Highlight your data.
  3. Insert the pie chart.
  4. Customize your pie chart.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I create a pie chart in Excel with more than one data series?

Yes, you can create a multi-level pie chart, also known as a doughnut chart, to represent multiple data series.

How can I explode a slice in my pie chart?

Right-click on the slice you want to explode, then select ‘Format Data Point’, and adjust the point explosion slider.

Can I add data labels to my pie chart?

Yes, you can add data labels by selecting the pie chart, then choosing ‘Add Data Labels’ from the ‘Chart Tools’ options.

Can I change the color of individual slices?

Absolutely, you can click on a slice and select a new fill color from the ‘Format Data Point’ menu.

How do I remove the legend from my pie chart?

Click on the legend and press the delete key, or deselect the legend option in the ‘Chart Elements’ menu.


Creating a pie chart in Excel is a skill that can help you turn your data into a compelling visual story. It’s not just about throwing numbers into a chart; it’s about presenting your data in the most informative and appealing way possible. Remember, the devil is in the details! Pay attention to how you input your data, customize your chart, and most importantly, consider what your data is saying.

With a little practice, you’ll be creating pie charts that not only look great but also effectively communicate the key points of your data. So, why not give it a try and see what kind of story your data can tell through a pie chart in Excel?

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