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Charts II: Choose the right chart type

A Pie chart showing the monthly contribution to the quarterly total

This chart shows how each month's sales figure contributes to the quarterly total.

What if you want just the big picture? You could create a Pie chart. A Pie chart is designed to show comparisons within a single set of values, and to show how parts contribute to a whole. It's an ideal chart type to display each month's contribution to a quarterly sales total.

What's the recipe for a pie? First, you'd select the column titles and the column totals on the worksheet (you'll see how to do that in the practice session). Then you'd click the Chart Wizard Button image button on the Standard toolbar to open the Chart Wizard, in which you'd select a Pie chart type.

In the chart shown here, you can see that February accounts for almost 50% of the sales in the first quarter. That message wasn't so strong in the Column charts. Pie charts are available in various sub-types, such as 3-D, which is visually attractive but can be difficult to understand if it has many sections. Again, choose the form of chart that makes your point most effectively.

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