Do you want to present your data in a visually appealing and easy-to-understand way? Then you won’t go wrong using pie charts. Whether for business or personal use, a pie chart provides a remarkable way to view data.
This article will give you a detailed rundown of how to make a pie chart in Google Sheets. After reading this post, you should be able to create a professional-looking pie chart in Google Sheets for your presentations and reports.
So, without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Making a pie chart in Google Sheets
Creating a professional-looking pie chart in Google Sheets isn’t as difficult as you imagine. Whether you’re doing this for the first time or have some experience up your sleeves, rest assured that today’s Google Sheets tutorial will walk you through creating a pie chart in Google Sheets.
While our guide will provide step-by-step directions on how to create a pie chart in Google Sheets, we will also highlight some excellent customisation tips you can play with to give your pie chart a more distinct and professional look.
Also, remember that a pie chart is typically used to compare things within the same larger category. So for our tutorial, we will use a monthly budget sample to compare costs.
Our pie chart will showcase how much of our monthly budget goes into different expenses including house rent, council tax, food costs, etc.
Here, check out the sample data we will use to create a pie chart in Google Sheets.
From our sample data above, you’ll notice this is a two-column pie chart. While this is what we are going to be working with, keep in mind that it can be done using any data. Plus, you can even use as many columns as you like.
Now, to the part you have been waiting for, here is how to create a pie chart in Google Sheets:
Step 1: Highlight the data in your spreadsheet
We first want to highlight the data we would like to showcase in our pie chart. So for this guide, we will go ahead and select the values featured in our respective columns. Here is what it should look like after highlighting the values in our spreadsheet:
Step 2: Go to Insert > Chart
With the respective data in our sample spreadsheet highlighted, the next thing we want to do is navigate to the Insert tab and click on the option for Chart. Alternatively, you can simply navigate to the top right submenu and select “Chart.”
Here is a short video demo showing you how to execute this step:
If you executed the steps exactly as highlighted above, Google Sheets would automatically create a pie chart in your spreadsheet. You should see something that looks like this:
Keep in mind that Google being Google attempted to guess the type of chart it thinks we want. However, it might get this wrong in some cases, so you need to change it to the chart type you want to create. And should that be the case, here is how to change the chart type to what you want.
- Start by clicking anywhere within the chart generated by Google
- After that, you’ll notice three dots on the top right of your chart. Click on it and select the option that says “Edit chart”
- This will launch the Chart editor.
- Now, head to the chart editor on the extreme right of your spreadsheet, and select “Setup.” Underneath that, you’ll find the option for “Chart type.” Click on it and you’ll find a list of different chart types. Now, select your preferred chart type.
To avoid confusion, we have created a short video demo to guide you. Check it out below:
Now that we have shown you how to change the chart type to your preferred option, we want to take things to the next level by showing you some customisation tips you can leverage to give your chart type a more professional and distinct look. Let’s jump into that, shall we?
Editing the pie chart
If you have read to this point, we are sure you’ll agree that creating a pie chart in Google Sheets is a walk in the park. Plus, the entire process only took a couple of minutes and clicks too. Now that we have accomplished that, let’s give our pie chart a professional look by taking advantage of some editing options available.
Step one: Access the Chart editor
To customise our pie chart, we need to access the “Chart editor,” which is typically located on the extreme right of the spreadsheet.
If your spreadsheet doesn’t have that already, you can launch it by clicking anywhere on the pie chart. After that, you’ll notice three dots located on the top right of the chart. Click on it and select “Edit chart”
This action will typically launch the Chart editor. Simply head to the extreme right of your spreadsheet to find it. Here is what it looks like:
Step 2: Changing the data range
If you selected the wrong cells when creating the pie chart, you might be tempted to want to start all over. Thankfully, you don’t have to do that as Google Sheets Chart editor allows you to make the changes with ease.
All you need to do is click on the box next to the option for “Data Range” and you’ll get the chance to make the necessary changes.
After clicking on the box, you should be able to choose a new range.
Note: The above step is only essential if you selected the wrong data range when creating your pie chart. So if you didn’t make any mistake with the data range when creating your pie chart, you can ignore this step.
Changing the label on your pie chart
In some instances you might want to change the label of your chart. So should that be the case, here is how to go about it.
- Head to the Chart editor and select Setup
- Underneath that, you’ll find the option that says “Label.” Click on that and select the appropriate label you want.
Note: Since we only have two columns in our sample data, it doesn’t make any sense to change the label. However, we included this step in case you’re dealing with a different data set and need to change the label.
Making your pie chart look better
Having shown you a couple of ways to edit your pie chart, we now want to show you how to make your pie chart in Google Sheets look better. Remember that these changes aim to make your pie chart look more aesthetically pleasing.
By aesthetically pleasing, we mean changing the colours, converting the chart to 3D, adding a legend, tweaking the titles, and adding a donut hole. We know this sounds like a lot, so we will show you all the steps to make these unique changes to your pie chart.
And guess what, making these changes is super easy. All the magic happens from the Chart editor located on the extreme right of our spreadsheet.
Let’s get started, shall we?
Changing the chart style of our pie chart
One of the first things we would love to do is change the chart style of our pie chart. And just so you know, this is super easy and only takes a couple of clicks. Here is go about it.
- Go to the Chart editor and select Customize. From the drop-down menu, click on Chart style.
- This action will show you a list of things you can customise including background colour, font type, border colour, and more. Here, take a look at this screenshot to learn more:
- For the purpose of this guide, we will use Light grey as our background colour. To do this, click on the option for “Background colour” under Chart style and select grey.
After the changes have been applied to your pie chart, you should have something that looks like this:
If you take a look at this image, you’ll notice that the background is now greyish in colour.
- The next thing we want to do is change the font type. To do this, click on the option for “Font” under Chart style and select your preferred font type. For our guide, we will use “WIDE.”
If you did that correctly, your pie chart should look exactly like this:
Notice how the font has changed to something more legible and easy to see. Well, that’s what we wanted in the first place.
- After tweaking our font type, the next thing we want to do is change the chart border colour. And to do this, we need to click the option for “Chart border colour” and select our preferred colour. To keep everything nice and cool, we want to go for a colour than isn’t too shouty. For this guide, we will use “Black”
After choosing our preferred Chart border colour- Black. Our pie chart should now look something like this:
We are sure you’ll agree that our pie chart looks a lot better than when we first created it. But guess what? We are just getting started.
Let us quickly show you how you can turn your standard pie chart into a 3D pie chart. Doing this will give your pie chart a wholesome look.
- Navigate to the chart editor on the extreme end of your spreadsheet.
- Click on the Customize tab and select “Chart type.”
- From the options available, navigate all the way down and check the box for 3D.
If the above steps sound a bit confusing, we are sure this short video demonstration will provide some clarifications:
After executing the steps detailed in this short video, your pie chart should have taken a 3D form. Here is what it should look like:
Customizing the pie chart option
Tweaking the chart style has already remarkably transformed our pie chart, but as we mentioned earlier, we are just getting started. Now, we want to customise the pie chart itself. And here is how that’s done.
- Head over to the chart editor on the extreme right of your spreadsheet and select Customize tab.
- From the dropdown option, select Pie chart. After clicking on that, you should notice a few options for customising your pie chart. For our guide, we want to add a donut hole to our pie chart. To do this, we need to click on the option for “Donut hole.” After selecting that option, you’ll get a list of percentages ranging from “0%, 25%, 50%, and 75%.” For our guide, we will opt for 50%.
After choosing the option for 50% you should notice some changes on your pie chart. For us, here is what our pie chart looks like after choosing the 50% option for the donut hole.
- From the Pie chart drop-down, you’ll notice an option that says “Slice label.” This feature allows you to customise your pie chart further. So click on the option and select “Value”
Google Sheets will automatically apply your changes to your pie chart. If you did everything right, your pie chart should look completely transformed. Here is what we mean:
From the image above, you’ll notice that our Pie chart provides more information about the data we started with including the amount spent on different expenses. We don’t know about you, but we honestly love how our pie chart is looking.
Having shown you how you can tweak the aesthetics of your pie chart, let’s add some extra twists that will have our pie chart looking a lot more professional.
Changing the pie slice on the pie chart
Do you know it’s possible to change the pie slice? Oh yes, and it isn’t as difficult as you thought. Like every other step, we have highlighted so far, this one only takes a couple of clicks. While changing the pie slice will most definitely transform your chart from what it currently is, it also allows you to place emphasis on specific values in your data. Here is how to change the pie slice on the pie chart:
- Navigate to the Chart editor sitting on the extreme right of your spreadsheet and click on the option for “Customize.” From the dropdown menu, select the option for “Pie Slice”
- Under the option for Pie slice, you’ll notice a dropdown button. Clicking on this option will show the various expenses you have made.
- Simply Choose the expense you want to create a pie slice for and select the “Distance from center” option. Since “Student loan” accounts for the most expense, we would love to use that to create our Pie slice.
As per the option for “Distance from centre,” we would love to opt for 15%. While you won’t find 15% from the dropdown list when you click on the option for “Distance from center,” you can always enter a custom number.
After applying these changes, you should notice that Google Sheets has automatically created a pie slice in our chart. Here, take a look at what our pie chart now looks like:
Note: In addition to creating a pie slice, keep in mind that this section also allows you to change the colour of each slice. So if you’d like to make changes to the colours of your pie chart, feel free to make these changes here. For our guide, we are pleased with the colour options we already have so we won’t be making any changes.
Changing chart and axis title
We are gradually reaching the end of our pie chart customisation. But before we wrap up, we need to also show you how to tweak the chart and axis title. While what we currently have as the chart and axis title isn’t bad, we can make it look somewhat better. Here is how you can do that with just a few clicks.
- On the Chart editor, click on the Customize tab and Select the dropdown option for “Chart & axis title.”
- This action will present you with a list of options you can tweak. For our Google Sheets tutorial, we will change the title text from “Amount spent” to “Monthly expenses.” To do this, head to the box underneath the option for Title text and enter the new text.
After making the changes, your pie chart will be automatically updated to reflect the changes made. Take a look at our pie chart to see the changes made:
- Since we like the font we currently have for the Title text, there will be no need to make changes to that. The only change we want to make is to tweak the “Title format.”
We particularly want the title text bolded and justified to the centre. To make these changes, navigate to the option for “Title format.” Select “B” to bolden the title text and click on the center justify option.
Here is a video demonstration showing you how to complete these steps:
Want to take a look at what our pie chart now looks like? Here you go:
Changing the Legend
If you have read to this point, you’ll agree that our pie chart looks aesthetically pleasing and professional. While we love the placement of the “Legend” in our pie chart, we can change the position to something else. For this guide, we would love to change the Legend to the side. Here is how to accomplish that..
- Open the chart editor and select “Customize” tab. From the option available, choose “Legend”
- You’ll notice a list of options. Since we want to keep things simple, we only want to make changes to the position of the legend. All you need to do is click the option for “Position” under Legend and select your preferred position. For this guide, we would go with “Right”
If you did exactly as we showed you, your pie chart should look something like this:
Don’t you just love how our pie chart looks detailed, clean and professional? Well, that’s what you’ll get after executing all the steps highlighted in today’s guide.
Pie charts have proven to be one of the most powerful tools for visualising data. Little wonder why many professionals use it to present their data in an easy-to-understand way.
For those who would love to create a pie chart in Google Sheets but don’t know where to start from, today’s Google Sheets tutorial has everything you’re looking for and more.
Besides covering the basics of how to create a pie chart in Google Charts, today’s guide also featured a host of customisations that you can leverage to spice up your pie charts. Feel free to explore these customisation options if you want your pie chart to be more aesthetically pleasing and professional.
To make our Google Sheets tutorial on how to create a pie chart in Google Sheets easy to comprehend, we featured tons of screenshots and video demos. If you find it hard to execute any of the steps detailed in this guide, feel free to consult these resources.
If you have any questions regarding today’s guide or need more clarifications, feel free to leave a comment and we will be happy to respond.
Frequently asked questions
Can you create a pie chart in Google Sheets with percentages?
Creating a pie chart in Google sheets with percentages is possible. Here is how to do it:
- Highlight the data in your spreadsheet
- Head to the Insert menu and select Chart.
- With your pie chart now generated, head to the Chart editor located on the extreme right of your spreadsheet and select “Customize” tab.
- From the dropdown option, select Pie chart.” You’ll be presented with multiple options to tweak. Simply select the option for “Slice label” and choose Percentage.
After these changes have been effected, you’ll have a pie chart with percentages. Here is what it should look like:
Do I need technical skills to create a pie chart in Google Sheets?
Creating a pie chart in Google Sheets doesn’t typically require that you have any technical skills. All you need to do is follow all the step-by-step guides detailed in today’s post and you’re good to go.