How to Make a Percentage Pie Chart With Excel

Pie charts are one of the most widely used types of graph, and Microsoft Excel is well set up to generate them. Pie charts show data as a proportion of a whole by their nature, so they're well suited to display percentages. However, when you create a pie chart in Excel using the most straightforward method, it doesn't display the percentage for each slice. It's easy to add this information, but you need to either choose a different chart layout or add the percentages to your existing chart as labels.

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Create Pie Chart in Excel

The first thing you need to do to produce an Excel pie chart with percentage values is to produce a basic pie chart. Find or enter some data in an appropriate format. Pie charts require a name for each section and a numerical value associated with each section. For example, you might have a type of product such as fruit, vegetable, meat and dairy as the names for each slice of the pie and the total sales in each category as the numerical value. Enter this data into your Excel sheet in two columns, one with the names and one next to it with the numerical values. Highlight the data.

Create the pie chart by clicking the "Insert" tab at the top of the screen, finding the "Charts" group, and choosing the drop-down arrow beneath the pie chart icon. (On Excel 2007 and earlier, it says "Pie" below the icon.) This brings up the different pie and doughnut chart options in Excel. Choose a basic 2D pie, an exploded pie or any option suitable for your needs. Click on the type you prefer to create a pie chart in Excel.

Excel Pie Chart With Percentages

The easiest way to create an Excel pie chart with percentage values is to click on the pie chart you just made and navigate to the "Design" tab. In Excel 2007 and earlier, you'll see a group called "Chart Layouts." On later versions of Excel, the same options are found in the "Quick Layout" section. In this group are several choices for displaying a chart, and the ones you're looking for have percentage symbols inside the pie icon. There is an option for percentages to be displayed in the slice or just outside along with the label, and two options for a separate legend with the percentage values displayed in and around the pie. Choose any of these to create a pie chart with percentages.

Alternate Method

If you don't want to use "Chart Layout" or "Quick Layout" to add the percentages to your chart, you can do it another way. Bring up a basic pie chart of your data and right-click the pie section of the chart. Choose "Add Data Labels" from the options that appear to display the numerical values you entered into the chart. If these are percentages already, you can stop here. If not, right-click again and choose "Format Data Labels" to bring up a dialog box that contains check boxes for each element that can be added to the pie chart labels. Click the check box beside "Percentage" to add percentages to the chart.

If you want your Excel chart to show the percentage and value for each section, use this method and check both "Value" and "Percentage." You can choose how these are separated, although the "New Line" option is arguably the clearest.

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