How to Make a Pie Chart in Excel 2010

I’m a big fan of Pie Charts because they are a great visual representation of ‘spread’ or ‘distribution’ of data. By this I mean you can understand how different parts contribute to the whole. Rather than throw more fancy words at you, here’s a few visuals to explain further:

You want to depict the Mobile Phone market share, taking some numbers from 2016 we get:

The option to include or exclude numbers from Pie Charts is useful depending on whether you are aiming to show deep analysis in your reports or spark conversation.

Another example would be a Pie Chart that belongs on a Project Management dashboard to show the distribution of Red, Amber and Green rated projects. Now we don’t have to have numbers, but the visual can set the tone for a meeting that will be discussing the progress of the projects.

Enough banter on Pie Charts, how do we actually make them?!

To generate a pie chart in MS Excel 2010, execute the following 3 steps.

I'm going to randomly pick the topic of Nepalese ethnic groups to build our Pie Chart. Enjoy!

1. Start by listing the data in a worksheet as in the picture below. This is pretty easy, one order can be your forms of the ethnic groups, and one other order is their corresponding percentage.

For example, to create a spreadsheet featuring the percentage of ethnic groups and the percentage you are able to write “Newar” in cell C7 and "30" in cell D7 and so on. Please note: All data values are more than zero and you will find no clear lines or columns.

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2. Now pick the data you want to be represented in the pie chart: To select the data, click the top left of the effective data and then pull the cursor to the bottom right. In this case, I have selected the data range C7: D12

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3. And once everything is selected, Click the Insert ribbon and then Click Pie, then pick the basic 2-D option (3-D versions have the potential to cause confusion in audiences so stay away from them) and voila! A pie chart will be automatically placed into your worksheet.

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As ever with Excel if you happen to change any of the data, that change will ripple through automatically in to the Pie Chart.

Let's look at some of the customisation options for the Pie Chart

Customise the Pie chart from the Design tab

Whenever you click the pie chart you will be shown the 'Chart Tools' menu on the ribbon. The three tabs being: Design, Layout and Format.

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Next Click on the "Design" tab under Chart Tools to see the Chart Styles cell and Chart Layout panel. Several style types can be seen in a drop down box when clicked. You can search up and down through the alternatives and find something suitable for your report/dashboard. In the case, I've picked the Layout 6. 

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Similarly, you are able to press the "Format" tab in the Chart Tools element of the ribbon. Select "Shape Fill," "Shape Outline" or "Shape Effects" to decide on the visuals of the pie chart. In the figure, I’ve selected the second shape styles..

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Adding Labels to your Pie Chart

If you need more customisation for the pie chart, Right-click the chart and select "Format Data Labels." A pop-up dialogue box starts featuring the label options. Select "percentage" to see the values indicated as a percentage of the entire pie chart, or select "value" to alter the phase labels to their numeric values as shown in the spreadsheet.

You can select or deselect some other labelling possibilities to suit your preferences. As an example, checking "Series Name" or "Category Name" includes these names to the phase labels. Choosing one of the Label Position possibilities changes where the phase labels appear. In the example, I've selected the Category name in the label options.

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Thanks for reading!

Before you go, get my report '10 things I did with Excel that increased my salary from £27K to £100K'

About the Author Sohail Anwar

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5 comments
How to Make a Pie Chart in Excel 2010 – Earn and Excel says October 23, 2017

[…] post How to Make a Pie Chart in Excel 2010 appeared first on Earn and […]

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jim says October 25, 2017

Pie charts!
really?
they give very little information for the space they use
great for making powerpoint presentations look flashy but they’re just window dressing and have very little substance

Reply
    Earn & Excel says October 25, 2017

    Hey Jim, thanks for commenting. You nailed it with ‘give very little information’ and that’s why they are in my top 3 charts to use. I’ve written hundreds of reports for senior execs in my career and the pie chart is perfect for the skim reader as they can draw someone in to part of a report. The goal in reporting is to keep it as simple as possible and get complex as a last resort.

    Reply
      jim says October 25, 2017

      perhaps I should have said that they’re also good at giving mis-information – veiling the truth or averting focus
      3-d charts, graphics, multi-colour formatting and trendlines can also have this quality
      they all look good but can often mislead
      maybe they look impressive but are not incisive or informative

      Reply
Earn & Excel says October 25, 2017

Hi Jim, really good input and yes I have worked for execs who wanted to do what I would interpret as mis-information, veiling and averting focus but it’s entirely subjective as we all get caught up in our own interpretations/agendas. It plays to the deeper game of politics sometimes.

Most execs I’ve worked with wanted minimalism in reports so they could talk to or gloss over things themselves. More often it’s not insidious but because things are in flux and a point in time report might make us look bad but the situation will be quickly rectified tomorrow.

Reporting is the most subjective thing ever, for example I’m not a fan of the 3-d, graphics, colour, sparklines etc but they have a place in some circumstances.

Good challenges mate, the keep us honest!

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