How to Create an Excel Pie Chart in 60 Seconds or Less

At the beginning of 2021, I was tasked with: creating a pie chart that shows what types of content worked best on a marketing blog in 2020.

The issue was undeniably important as it would affect the types of content written in 2021 and identify new opportunities for growth.

However, when I had compiled all the relevant data, I was stuck. How can I easily create a pie chart to present my results?

Fortunately, I understand that time. Here’s how you can create your own Excel pie chart for impressive marketing reports and presentations. In addition to how to rotate Excel pie chart, pie chart explode and even create a three-dimensional version.

Let’s dive in.

How to Make an Excel Pie Chart |

1. Create your own columns and / or data rows. Boldly tag each data column – Excel uses these tags as headings in your pie chart. Then highlight the data you want to display in the form of a pie chart.

In Excel, data columns are highlighted to create a pie chart.

2. Now click the “Add” button and then the “Pie” logo at the top of Excel.

Pie chart tool in Excel.

3. Here you can see some pie options, including two-dimensional and three-dimensional. Click on the first image in the 2D pie chart for your goals.

The various pie chart design options, including 2-D and 3-D pies, are great.

4. And there you have it! A pie chart appears with the data and labels you highlighted.

A complete pie chart created in Excel.

If you’re not happy with the colors or design of your pie chart, you also have a lot of editing options.

Let’s dive into them next.

How to Edit an Excel Pie Chart |

Background color

1. You can change the background color by clicking the color bucket icon below the “Format chart area” sidebar.

Then select the fill type (whether you want the background color of the pie chart to be a solid color or you want the fill to be gradient or patterned) and the background color.

Excel pie chart background color tool.

Pie chart text

2. Next, click the text on the pie chart if you want to rewrite something, expand the text, or move the text to a new area in your pie chart.

Excel pie chart text editor tool.

Pie chart boundary

3. In the chart formatting area, you can also edit the boundary of your pie chart, including the transparency, width, and color of the border.

Boundary Chart Boundary Tool in Excel Sidebar Format the chart area.

Shadows of the pie chart

4. To change the pie chart box itself (including the box shadow, edges, and highlights), click Format Pentagon Shape In The Chart Area in the sidebar.

Then switch the bar over “Transparency”, “Size”, “Blur” and “Angle” until you are happy with the shadow of your pie chart box.

Shadow, glow, soft edges, or 3D formatting options for Excel pie charts.

Pie chart colors

5. To change the colors of the pie chart, click the color palette in the upper-left corner of Excel.

Excel offers a selection of additional colors, including some presets in the “Colorful” section and some presets in the “Monochrome” section. You can click between options until you find a color palette you’re happy with.

(Alternatively, if you want to change the colors of the pieces in your pie chart one at a time, double-click the pie chart piece, go to the color section of the Format Chart area, and select a new color.)

The color options for your pie chart in Excel are predefined by Excel.

how to change the color of an individual pie chart part in excel.

Chart title

6. Edit the chart title by clicking the chart icon in the three bars in the upper-left corner of Excel, and then selecting “Chart Title> None,” “Chart Title> Above Chart,” or “Chart Title> Center Overlay.”

Chart Title Tool to change the layout of a pie chart title in Excel.

Change the location of data labels

7. Click the “Data Labels” button on the same three bar chart icons to change the way labels appear on the pie chart. (For example, do you want pieces of a pie chart to be labeled in the middle or on the outside of each section of the pie chart?)

Change row / column

8. If you want to change what data is displayed in the pie chart, click “Toggle Row / Column” to see alternative information aligned from the original data collection.

Toggle row / column button in Excel.

How to Explode an Excel Pie Chart |

1. To explode a piece of your pie chart (which can help you highlight or draw attention to a specific part of your pie chart), double-click the piece you want to drag away.

Then drag the cursor until it is the desired distance and you’re done!

A tool to drag a piece of your pie chart away from the whole of Excel.

How to Create a 3D Pie Chart in Excel

1. To create a three-dimensional pie chart in Excel, simply highlight your data and then click on the “Pie” logo.

Pie chart button in Excel

2. Then select the “3-D Pie” option.

3-D option for pie charts in Excel to create a three-dimensional version.

3. Finally, select the desired design option at the top of the screen.

Excel pie chart design options.

Rotate a pie chart in Excel

Finally, to rotate your pie chart, double-click the chart, and then click the three bars icon in the “Format Data Point” section.

Then change the “First Slice Angle” button until you have rotated the pie chart as desired.

How to rotate a pie chart in Excel using a format data point.

And there you have it! You are successfully prepared to create clean and impressive pie charts for your marketing materials to highlight relevant data and get stakeholders to take action.

Ultimately, you want to experiment with all of Excel’s unique formatting features until you understand the pie chart that best suits your needs. Good luck!

A new invitation to action

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