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One of the best things you can do with Excel is to convert reams of dreary data into stunning visuals. One of the most popular graphs is the pie chart because you can show data as a percentage of a total. However, it can be tricky to learn how to make a pie chart in Excel that looks just right.

Just a little bit of instruction is all it takes to make your charts shine. Here are a few tips to help you get off on the right foot.

How to make a pie chart in Excel

It’s important to remember that a pie chart isn’t the perfect graph for every type of data. If you’re trying to show how a category grows across numerous time periods then there are probably better options. Once you’re sure that a pie chart is the one for you, start by highlighting your data.

1. Once you have your data highlighted, navigate to the Charts tab and find the Pie Chart dropdown menu.

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2. We’ve selected the 2-D Pie option for this example. You should see your graph appear on the spreadsheet with an automatic title and legend.

pie chart excel 2

3. If you want to add labels to your pie chart you first have to right-click on the chart to open the menu. From the menu, select the Add Data Labels option to display your data within the sections of the pie.

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4. If you need to change your labels, you can right-click on the current labels and then select the Format Data Labels tab. From here, you can easily add the category name and specify the data for each section of the pie.

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These are the basic steps for creating your pie chart, but you might find that you need to add a little bit more information to make your chart clear.

If you want to add a title to your graph, select Charts in the menu ribbon and head to chart layout. Now select Title Above Chart to display your title. You can also select other locations if you want your title below the chart.

Pie charts include a legend by default, but you can easily change it with a little bit of work. Select the legend and right-click to open the menu. Now click on Format Legend to fine-tune your choices.

These are a few of the basic steps you might need to build the perfect pie chart, but it’s far from the limit of what you can do with Excel.

What else can I learn?

If you’re ready to learn a little bit more about Excel, it doesn’t take too much training to get started. You can explore formulas, PivotTables, and even Macros, taking your skills from zero to hero. We’re highlighting a new deal on Tech Deals right now to give you a head start.

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