Present your data in a pie chart

Using Microsoft Office Excel 2007, you can quickly turn your data into a pie chart, and then give that pie chart a spiffy, professional look.

Formatted pie chart

After you create a pie chart, you can rotate the slices for different perspectives. You can also focus on specific slices by pulling them out of the pie chart, or by changing the chart type to a pie of pie or bar of pie chart to draw attention to very small slices.

In this article


Learn more about plotting data in a pie chart

Pie charts show the size of items in one data series (data series: Related data points that are plotted in a chart. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern and is represented in the chart legend. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.), proportional to the sum of the items. The data points (data points: Individual values plotted in a chart and represented by bars, columns, lines, pie or doughnut slices, dots, and various other shapes called data markers. Data markers of the same color constitute a data series.) in a pie chart are displayed as a percentage of the whole pie. Because you can plot only one data series in a pie chart, the worksheet data should be arranged in one column or one row. You can also include a column or row of category names, as long as that column or row is the first column or row in the selection. Categories are then presented in the legend of the pie chart.

Consider using a pie chart when:

  • You have only one data series that you want to plot.
  • None of the values that you want to plot is negative.
  • None of the values that you want to plot is a zero (0) value.
  • You don't have more than seven categories.
  • The categories represent parts of the whole pie.

When you create a pie chart, you can choose one of the following pie chart subtypes:

  • Pie and pie in 3-D    Pie charts display the contribution of each value to a total in a 2-D or 3-D format. You can pull out slices of a pie chart manually to emphasize the slices.

Example of a 2-D and 3-D pie chart

  • Pie of pie and bar of pie    Pie of pie or bar of pie charts display pie charts with user-defined values that are extracted from the main pie chart and combined into a secondary pie chart or into a stacked bar chart. These chart types are useful when you want to make small slices in the main pie chart easier to distinguish.

Example of a pie of pie and bar of pie chart

  • Exploded pie and exploded pie in 3-D    Exploded pie charts display the contribution of each value to a total while emphasizing individual values. Exploded pie charts can be displayed in 3-D format. You can change the pie explosion setting for all slices and individual slices, but you cannot move the slices of an exploded pie manually. If you want to pull out the slices manually, consider using a pie or pie in 3-D chart instead.

Example of a 2-D and 3-D exploded pie chart

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Create an elaborate pie chart

Formatted pie chart

So, how did we create this pie chart? The following procedure will help you create a pie chart with similar results. For this chart, we used the example worksheet data. You can copy this data to your worksheet, or you can use your own data.

  1. Copy the example worksheet data into a blank worksheet, or open the worksheet that contains the data that you want to plot into a pie chart.

ShowHow to copy the example worksheet data

  • Create a blank workbook or worksheet.
  • Select the example in the Help topic.

 Note   Do not select the row or column headers.

Selecting an example from Help

Selecting an example from Help
  • Press CTRL+C.
  • In the worksheet, select cell A1, and press CTRL+V.

 
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A B
Lunch Sales
Sandwiches 40
Salads 21
Soup 15
Beverages 9
Desserts 15
  1. Select the data that you want to plot in the pie chart.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Charts group, click Pie.

Excel Ribbon Image

  1. Under 3-D Pie, select Pie in 3-D.
  2. Click the plot area (plot area: In a 2-D chart, the area bounded by the axes, including all data series. In a 3-D chart, the area bounded by the axes, including the data series, category names, tick-mark labels, and axis titles.) of the pie chart.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Design tab, in the Chart Layouts group, select the layout that you want to use.

Excel Ribbon Image

 Tip   For our pie chart, we used Layout 2.

 Note   Layout 2 displays a legend. If your chart has too many legend entries or if the legend entries are not easy to distinguish, you may want to add data labels to the slices of the pie chart instead of displaying a legend (Layout tab, Labels group, Data Labels button).

  1. On the Design tab, in the Chart Styles group, click the chart style that you want to use.

Excel Ribbon Image

 Tip   For our pie chart, we used Style 2.

  1. On the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Effects, and then click Bevel.

Excel Ribbon Image

  1. Click 3-D Options, and then under Bevel, click the Top and Bottom bevel options that you want to use.

 Tip   For our pie chart, we used Circle.

  1. In the Width and Height boxes for Top and Bottom bevel options, type the point size that you want.

 Tip   For our pie chart, we used 512 pt.

  1. Under Surface, click Material, and then click the material option that you want to use.

 Tip   For our pie chart, we used Plastic.

  1. Click Close.
  2. On the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Effects, and then click Shadow.
  3. Under Outer, Inner, or Perspective, click the shadow option that you want to use.

 Tip   For our pie chart, we used Below under Perspective.

  1. To rotate the chart for a better perspective, select the plot area, and then on the Format tab in the Current Selection group, click Format Selection.
  2. Under Angle of first slice, drag the slider to the degree of rotation that you want, or type a value between 0 (zero) and 360 to specify the angle at which you want the first slice to appear, and then click Close.

 Tip   For our pie chart, we used 350.

  1. Click the chart area of the chart.
  2. On the Format tab, in the Shape Styles group, click Shape Effects, and then click Bevel.
  3. Under Bevel, select the bevel option that you want to use.

 Tip   For our pie chart, we used Circle.

  1. If you want to use theme colors that are different from the default theme that is applied to your workbook, do the following:
  1. On the Page Layout tab, in the Themes group, click Themes.

Themes group on Excel Ribbon

  1. Under Built-in, click the theme that you want to use.

 Tip   For our pie chart, we used the Origin theme.

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Rotate the slices in a pie chart

The order in which data series (data series: Related data points that are plotted in a chart. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern and is represented in the chart legend. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.) in pie charts are plotted in Office Excel 2007 is determined by the order of the data on the worksheet. For a different perspective, you can rotate the pie chart slices within the 360 degrees of the circle of the pie chart.

Example of rotated slices in a pie chart

  1. In a pie chart, click the data series or a data point, or do the following to select it from a list of chart elements.
    1. Click the chart.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click the arrow next to the Chart Elements box, and then click the data series or data point that you want.

Excel Ribbon Image

  1. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click Format Selection.
  2. Under Angle of first slice box, drag the slider to the degree of rotation that you want, or type a value between 0 (zero) and 360 to specify the angle at which you want the first slice to appear.

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Pull out slices of a pie chart

To emphasize the individual slices of a pie chart, you can use the exploded pie or exploded pie in 3-D chart type when you create the chart. Exploded pie charts display the contribution of each value to a total while emphasizing individual values. You can change the pie explosion setting for all slices or individual slices, but you cannot move the slices of an exploded pie manually.

Exploded pie chart

If you want to pull out the slices manually, consider using a pie or pie in 3-D chart instead.

Pie chart with one pulled slice

Change the settings of slices in an exploded pie chart

  1. In the exploded pie chart, click the data series or a data point, or do the following to select the data series from a list of chart elements:
    1. Click the chart.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click the arrow next to the Chart Elements box, and then click the data series.

Excel Ribbon Image

  1. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click Format Selection.
  2. Under Pie Explosion, drag the slider to increase or decrease the percentage of separation, or type the percentage of separation that you want in the percentage box.

Pull out slices of a pie chart manually

Click the pie chart, and then do one of the following:

  • To pull all of the slices out of the pie chart, drag away from the center of the chart.
  • To pull individual slices out of the pie chart, click the slice that you want to pull out, and then drag that slice away from the center of the chart.

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Draw attention to small slices in a pie of pie or bar of pie chart

When several data points (data points: Individual values plotted in a chart and represented by bars, columns, lines, pie or doughnut slices, dots, and various other shapes called data markers. Data markers of the same color constitute a data series.) in a pie chart each amount to less than 5% of the pie, it becomes hard to distinguish the slices.

Pie chart

To make smaller slices more visible in a pie chart, you can use a pie of pie or bar of pie chart type. Each of these chart types separates the smaller slices from the main pie chart and displays them in a secondary pie or stacked bar chart.

Pie of pie chart

The data labels (data label: A label that provides additional information about a data marker, which represents a single data point or value that originates from a datasheet cell.) in the secondary pie chart display the same percentage values as in the regular pie chart. The percentages in the secondary pie chart represent the slices that were separated from the main pie chart, and they do not total 100%. All slices are part of the same data series.

When you select the pie of pie or bar of pie chart type, the last third of the data points is moved into the secondary chart by default. For example, if there are seven to nine data points in the chart, the last three points are plotted in the secondary chart. However, you can change how data points are distributed across the main and secondary pie chart, and you can change how they are displayed.

Create a pie of pie or bar of pie chart

  1. In the worksheet, select the data that you want to plot in a pie of pie or bar of pie chart.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Charts group, click Pie, and then click Pie of Pie or Bar of Pie.

Excel Ribbon Image

 Notes 

  • The main and secondary charts are always positioned horizontally and adjacent to each other. They cannot be moved independently. The left chart is always the main chart.
  • You cannot select the individual charts or format them separately. Both the main and secondary charts are part of one data series. You can only select the entire data series or its individual data points, and then apply formatting to the selection.
  • Connector lines are automatically added to indicate the association between the main and secondary charts. You can format the connector lines by applying different line styles. You can also remove connector lines.
  • Depending on how many decimal places are specified for percentages on the Number tab of the Format Cells dialog box (Home tab, Number group, Dialog Box Launcher Button image ), percentages that are displayed in data labels may be rounded so that they don't add up correctly.

Change the distribution and display of data points

  1. In the pie of pie or bar of pie chart, select the data series or a data point, or do the following to select the data series from a list of chart elements:
    1. Click the chart.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click the arrow next to the Chart Elements box, and then click the data series.

Excel Ribbon Image

  1. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click Format Selection.
  2. In the Split Series By box, click the type of data that you want to display in the secondary chart.
  3. To adjust the number of data points that appear in the secondary chart, do the following:
  • If you chose to split the series by position, in the Second plot contains the last values box, enter a different number.
  • If you chose to split the series by value or percent value, in the Second plot contains all values less than box, type a different number.
  • To change the placement of a selected data point, in the Point belongs to box, click First Plot or Second Plot.
  1. To change the space between the slices, under Pie Explosion or Point Explosion, drag the slider to increase or decrease the percentage of separation, or type the percentage of separation that you want in the percentage box.
  2. To change the space between the charts, under Gap Width, drag the slider to increase or decrease the number, or type the number that you want in the percentage box.

 Note   This number represents the gap width as a percentage of the secondary chart width.

  1. To change the size of the secondary chart, under Second Plot Size box, drag the slider to increase or decrease the number, or type the number that you want to use in the percentage box.

 Note   This number represents the size as a percentage of the main chart size.

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Save a chart as a template

If you want to create another chart like the one that you just created, you can save the chart as a template that you can use as the basis for other similar charts.

  • Click the chart that you want to save as a template.
  • On the Design tab, in the Type group, click Save as Template.

Type group on Excel Ribbon

  • In the File name box, type a name for the template.

 Tip   Unless you specify a different folder, the template file (.crtx) will be saved in the Charts folder, and the template becomes available under Templates in both the Insert Chart dialog box (Insert tab, Charts group, Dialog Box Launcher Button image ) and the Change Chart Type dialog box (Design tab, Type group, Change Chart Type).

For more information about how to apply a chart template, see Reuse a favorite chart by using a chart template.

 Note   A chart template contains chart formatting and stores the colors that are in use when you save the chart as a template. When you use a chart template to create a chart in another workbook, the new chart uses the colors of the chart template — not the colors of the document theme that is currently applied to the workbook. To use the document theme colors instead of the chart template colors, right-click the chart area (chart area: The entire chart and all its elements.), and then click Reset to Match Style on the shortcut menu.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007, Outlook 2007