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How to make a pie chart in Excel

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One of the best things you can do with Excel is to convert piles of dismal data into stunning images. One of the most popular charts is the pie chart because you can display data as a percentage of a total. However, it can be difficult to learn how to make a pie chart in Excel that looks just right.

Just a little instruction is enough to make your charts shine. Here are a few tips to get you started.

Creating a Pie Chart in Excel

It is important to remember that a pie chart is not the perfect chart for every type of data. If you're trying to show how a category grows over multiple periods, there are probably better options. If you are sure that a pie chart is for you, first mark your data.

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

  pie chart Excel 1

2. For this example, we selected the option 2-D Pie . You should see your chart appear in the spreadsheet with an automatic title and legend.

  pie chart Excel 2

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

  pie chart Excel 3

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.

  pie chart excel 4

These are the basic steps for creating your pie chart, but you may need to add some more information to make your chart clear to make.

To add a title to your chart, select Charts from the menu ribbon and go to chart layout. Now select Title above graph to display your title. You can also select other locations if you want your title below the chart.

Pie charts have a legend by default, but you can easily change it with a little work. Select the legend and right click to open the menu. Now click on Format Legend to refine your choices.

These are some of the basic steps you need to make the perfect pie chart, but it is far from the limit of what you can do with Excel.

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