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[202.4] Making a regular pie chart in Excel

Step-by-step instructions on how to make a regular pie chart in Excel

  1. The data

    Here is a simple table aggregating EU28 population by four regions.

  2. Insert the chart

    Select the entire table and choose the pie chart from the Insert menu.

  3. Remove the legend

    Right-click the legend and select Delete from the popup menu.

  4. Apply a single color

    Select all slices (1) and change fill color (2).

  5. Sort by population

    Select column [Population] from the table, click the down arrow and sort from largest to smallest.

  6. Add labels

    Right-click the chart and choose Add Data Labels from the popup menu. Choose the best options for your chart. In the example below, I chose Category Name and Percentage and I added Show Leader Lines for the North slice.

    Test Label Position and choose the best position. Don’t forget that you can select a single label (indicated by white and slightly bigger circles around the selected object) and move it around.

  7. Specify your message

    We want to emphasize that Western countries account for more than half of the EU28 total population. Choose a darker fill color for the West slice, write a title in a cell. Choose the current title, enter “=” and point to that cell.

  8. Clean up

    Remove the border around the chart, adjust other details, and your chart is ready.

  9. Example with more slices

    The example below is similar, but uses 28 slices instead of just four. It uses the table in sheet PopCountry.


    Since the focus is on showing that four countries account for more than half of the population, there is no point in identifying the remaining countries

  10. A more complex example

    This one combines both approaches: it uses color to group countries by region and uses two sorting keys: total population by region, and then descending order of population inside each region.