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How to build a pie chart

In this video, we'll look at how to create a pie chart in Excel.

Here we have data that shows market share for desktop browsers in 2016. Let's build a pie chart to plot this data.

Pie charts show a "part to whole" relationship, and they work best with a limited number of categories.

The horizontal layout of this data is kind of awkward so let's transpose the data to a vertical format first.

Just select and copy the data, then use Paste Special with Transpose.

Then remove the original data.

We want a small number of categories so I'm going to insert 2 rows after Safari, then add a new category called "Other".

Now I'll just use the SUM function to gather up the rest of the data in the "other" category. I'll leave the data for now, and lock the reference inside SUM so I can sort the categories later if I want without any problems.

Now we're ready to make the pie chart. I'll use Insert, then select the pie chart option.Excel builds the chart.

As always there're some things here we want to change.

To start off, I'll resize the chart and bump up the text size.

Next, let's add a proper title.

Now data labels. Because the data shows a part-to-whole relationship - in other words, everything adds up to 100% - we can tell Excel to show a percentage instead of just the number.

Just double click a data label, then uncheck value and check percentage.

Things are looking pretty good, but there's still a few changes we may want to consider.

First, we might want to move the legend to the top.

And in this case, since we do have a small number of categories, we can also move data labels to the inside of the pie. 

Excel will try to put the labels in a good location, but you can always adjust each label individually. Just click once to select all labels, then again to select a single label and move as you like.

You may also want to adjust the font color to white for readability.

Finally, if you want to call attention to just one segment of the pie, you may want to flatten the color scheme, then make that segment a different color.

Course 
Core Charts

Related shortcuts

Author 
Dave Bruns