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How to create pie chart in Excel in 60 seconds or less


In early 2021, I was tasked with: Create a pie chart showcasing what kind of content works best on Blog Marketing in 2020.

The question is undeniably important, as it will affect the types of content we wrote in 2021, along with identifying new opportunities for growth.

But once I’ve gathered all the relevant data, I’m stuck – How can I easily create a pie chart to showcase my results?

Luckily, I found it. Here, let’s dive into how you can create your own excel pie chart for impressive marketing presentations and reports. Also, how to rotate pie chart in excel, explode pie charts and even how to create 3-dimensional version.

Let’s dive in.

How to create a pie chart in Excel

1. Create your own data columns and / or rows. Label each column of data – excel will use those labels as the title of your pie chart. Then highlight the data you want to display as a pie chart.

Columns of data are highlighted in excel to create pie charts.

2. Now, click “Insert” and then click “Circle” icon at the top of excel.

Pie chart tool in excel.

3. You will see a few cake options here, including 2-way and 3-way. For our purposes, click on the first image of the 2-dimensional pie chart.

Various pie chart design options, including 2-D and 3-D scones, in excel.

4. And you have it! A pie chart will appear with the data and labels you have highlighted.

A complete pie chart is created in excel.

However, if you are not satisfied with the color or the design of the pie chart, you also have plenty of editing options.

Let’s dive into those, next.

How to edit pie chart in Excel

Background color

1. You can change the background color by clicking on the paint bucket icon below the “Format Chart Area” sidebar.

Then choose a fill style (whether you want a solid color as a pie chart background or if you want a gradient or pattern) and a background color.

Background color tool for pie charts in excel.

Pie chart text

2. Next, click on the text in the pie chart itself if you want to rewrite anything, expand the text, or move the text to a new area of ​​your pie chart.

Text editor for pie chart in excel.

Circle chart border

3. In the Format Chart Area, you can also edit the pie chart border – including the border’s transparency, width, and color.

Contour tool for pie chart in excel in Format Chart Area sidebar.

Pie chart shadow

4. To change the pie chart box itself (including the shadows, edges, and highlights of the box), click the pentagon in the Format Chart Area sidebar.

Then, switch the bars across “Transparency”, “Size”, “Blur”, and “Angle” until you’re happy with your pie chart’s shadow.

Shade, bright, soft edge or 3-d format options for pie chart in excel.

Pie chart color

5. Click the paint palette, at the top left of excel, to change the colors of your pie chart.

Excel offers a wide range of complementary colors – including some “Color” presets and a few “Monochrome” presets. You can click between options until you find a color palette you are satisfied with.

(Also, if you want to change each pie color of the pie chart pieces one by one, simply double-click the pie chart piece, switch to the paint section of the Format Chart Area and choose a new color.)

Color options for your pie chart in excel are as pre-set in excel.

How to change the color of an individual pie chart section in excel.

Chart title

6. Change the chart title by clicking on the three-bar chart icon at the top left of excel, then go to “Chart Title> None”, “Chart Title> Top Chart” or “Chart Title> Center Overlay”.

Chart title tool in excel to edit the position of the title for your pie chart.

Change the position of the data labels

7. On the same three-bar chart icon, click “Data Labels” to modify where your label appears on the pie chart. (For example, do you want the pie chart sections to be labeled in the center of each pie chart or outside?)

Convert rows / columns

8. If you want to convert which data appears in the pie chart, click “Convert Rows / Columns” to see the replacement information aligned from your original data set.

Convert row / column button in excel.

How to develop pie charts in Excel

1. To explode part of a pie chart (which might help you emphasize or draw attention to a specific part of a pie chart), simply double-click on the part you want to drag away.

Then drag your cursor until the distance you want and you’re done!

Tool to drag part of pie chart out of the whole in excel.

How to create a 3D pie chart in Excel

1. To create a 3 dimensional pie chart in excel, just highlight your data and then click on the “Circle” icon.

Pie chart button in excel

2. After that, select the option “3-D Pie”.

3-D option for pie chart in excel to create 3 dimensional version.

3. Finally, select the design option you like at the top of the screen.

Design Options for Pie Charts in Excel.

How to rotate pie chart in Excel

Finally, to rotate your pie chart, double-click on the chart and then click the three-bar icon below “Data point format”.

Then, convert “First slice corner” until you rotate the pie chart as much as you want.

How to rotate a pie chart in excel using formatting data points.

And there you have it! You’re on your way to creating clear, impressive pie charts for your marketing materials to highlight critical data and drive stakeholders to take action.

Ultimately, you’ll want to experiment with all of excel’s unique formatting features until you find the pie chart that best suits your needs. Good luck!

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