How to Make a Pie Chart in Google Sheets [Easy Steps]


There are a number of visualization options available in Google Sheets, one of which is the Pie Chart. This tool lets you visualize data and see how individual data elements contribute as parts of a whole.

In this tutorial, we will show you how to make a pie chart in Google Sheets, how to edit the chart, style it and customize it according to your requirements.

What is a Pie Chart?

A pie chart is a visualization tool that helps express part-to-whole relationships in data.

Just like each slice of an actual pie represents one component (or portion) of the whole pie, each slice of the pie chart represents a portion of the entire quantity (or Sum total) of a variable. Moreover, all the slices combined together make up the whole pie. In the same way, all the individual portions of the pie chart, when combined together, should add up to 100% of the quantity.

When are Pie Charts Used?

Pie charts are excellent visualization options when you want to show percentages or parts of a quantity. As such, it is the perfect tool to represent percentages of different types of customers, profits from different types of products, demographic information, etc.

In fact, whenever you encounter the words ‘percent of’ or ‘part of’, you’re probably going to need a pie chart to visualize the data.

It is also often used in dashboards since it is simple, aesthetic, and easy to understand.

In general, there are two main use-cases that call for a pie chart:

  • When you want to put across a sense of how each part or type of data contributes to a whole. For example, if you want to show how different sales reps of a company contributed to the total company sales for the month.
  • When you want to show how one segment of the total quantity is relatively smaller or larger. For example, if you want to show that there are more men in a given company’s workforce as compared to women.

It’s important to note, however, that you should not use pie charts to compare data across different quantities (or pies). You should also never use it when you’re visualizing portions that don’t add up to 100%.

How to Create a Pie Chart in Google Sheets

Let’s say you have the following dataset, consisting of revenue obtained from 5 different regional assets of an imaginary organization.

To visualize how much each region has contributed to the total revenue, we can use a pie chart. Let’s see how to create a pie chart in Google Sheets to visualize the above data:

  • Select the range of cells that contain your data (cells A1:B6 in this case).
  • Navigate to Insert->Chart.

  • You should now see a chart displayed to represent your data, and a Chart Editor sidebar to the right side of the browser.

  • Google Sheets normally tries to recommend the best chart to represent your selected data. So if you see a Pie chart displayed, you can stop here. However, if you see some other type of chart displayed, go to step 5.
  • Click on the Setup tab (of the Chart editor) and click on the dropdown arrow just below ‘Chart Type’.

  • You should see options for different types of charts in the drop-down menu that appears. Select ‘Pie Chart’, which you should find under the Suggested or Pie category.

That’s it, you should now see a pie chart giving a visual representation of your selected data. Each slice of the pie is in a different color, representing how much each region contributes to the total revenue.

This is all there is to know about how to make a pie graph in Google Sheets. Easy as pie!

As you can see, labels automatically show each slice’s pie chart percentage.

How to Customize / Edit a Pie Chart in Google Sheets

Now that the basic pie chart is ready, let us see how to edit and customize it according to your liking. All customization options for your chart are available in one place – the Chart editor. Using this sidebar, you can style your chart, customize the pie chart, change the pie slices, change the titles, add labels, and more.

Let us see some of these customization options in a little more detail.

Note: If you cannot see the Chart editor sidebar, simply double click on the blank area of the chart, or click on the chart, click on the ellipsis button that appears (three dots) on the top-right corner of the chart, and then select ‘Edit chart’ from the context menu that appears.

Chart Style

To customize the chart style, select the Customize tab of the Chart editor. Then click on the Chart style section.

This section gives you options to change the background and border color of the chart, as well as change the chart font. There’s also an option to convert the chart into a 3D pie chart, as shown below:

Pie Chart

To customize the pie chart, select Customize tab ->Pie Chart from the chart editor.

This section lets you add labels to each slice of the pie chart, format the labels, as well as convert the chart to a donut chart.

If converting to a donut chart, you also have the option to change the size of the donut hole according to your liking. For example, in the image shown below, we specified that we want the donut hole to take up 25% of the pie chart’s center. We also added labels to each slice to show the revenue value corresponding to each slice:

Pie Slice

This section lets you customize individual slices of the pie. For example, you can change the color of each pie slice from this section. You can also separate out individual slices and set the distance of the slice from the center. This makes it seem like the slice is breaking off from the main pie.

For example, we changed the color of the North slice to ‘Light Magenta 3’ and made it separate out to a distance of 25% from the main pie, as shown below:

Chart & Axis Titles

This section allows you to change the chart title (and subtitle) as well as its font, size, color, and style. For example, we changed the chart title text to ‘Pie chart of Region-wise Revenue’. We changed its font to ‘Sans Serif’ and its font size to 16, as shown below:

Legend

This section lets you format the chart legend and change its position in the chart. For example, we changed the legend position to the Right of the chart and changed its font to ‘Sans Serif’, as shown below:

Additional Chart Options

Clicking on the chart and then the ellipsis button gives you other chart options that you can select if you want to further perform additional actions. For example, there are options to publish the chart, download it, copy, move and delete it as well.

Moreover, the Setup tab of the Chart editor has more options. For example, you have the option to change the data source for the chart, switch rows and columns, and more.

FAQs

How do you make a pie chart in Google Sheets?

To make a pie chart in Google Sheets, click on the Insert menu and then select Chart from the dropdown list that appears.

How do you set up a pie chart?

To set up a pie chart, double click on the chart or click on the ellipsis (three dots), followed by ‘Edit chart’. This displays the Chart editor sidebar to the right of the browser window. Select the Setup tab from the chart editor. You can now see all the options to set up your pie chart.

How do you make a 3D pie chart in Google Sheets?

There are two ways to make a 3-D pie chart:

Click on Insert->Chart and then from the Chart editor, select the Setup tab. Click on the dropdown list under Chart type. Scroll down the list to the Pie section and select 3-D pie chart.

Another way is to create a regular pie chart and then select the Customize tab from the Chart editor. Select the Chart style section and check the box next to 3D.

What is a pie chart with example?

A pie chart is a visualization tool that lets you express a variable as parts of a whole. For example, you can express how much time different members of the team contributed to a project using a pie chart.

How do I label a pie chart in Google Sheets?

To label a pie chart, select the Customize tab from the Chart editor. Click on the Pie chart section to open it and then click on the drop-down list under Slice label. You can select the type of label you want for your pie chart, as well as the format, and font for the labels from here.

Conclusion

The pie chart is a frequently used visualization tool, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with everything there is to know about it.

In this tutorial, we discussed what a pie chart is, what it is used for, and how to create a Pie Chart in Google Sheets. We also discussed how to use the Chart editor sidebar to customize your pie chart according to your requirements.

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Nahid

Nahid

Nahid Akhter is a writer, programmer, and online course content creator. She has an MS in Computer Science and has been in the education line for more than 14 years. Her specialization is in programming and Tech-writing, and her areas of interest include Office productivity, Artificial Intelligence, and Web design and development.