Pie charts are a popular visual aid for presenting parts of a whole. They help to present data in a clear and easily understandable way. Creating pie charts in Google Sheets is straightforward and can really help make your data more digestible. This tutorial will teach you how to create pie charts in Google Sheets.
To create a pie chart in Google Sheets, do the following:
- Select the data to be used for the pie chart
- Go to the menu item Insert, and from the drop-down menu, select Chart.
- Enter the chart data, and your pie chart will be generated automatically.
Looking to get more proficient in Google Sheets? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Google Sheets with Screenshots and Video Tutorial.
Creating a Pie Chart in Google Sheets
Before creating your pie chart, a data source is required. This may be school grades or sports results with their frequency. The key is that you need some data from which Google Sheets can generate a pie chart.
So let’s get started creating a pie chart in Google Sheets!
Step by Step Guide to Create a Pie Chart on Google Sheets
The following are detailed steps of how to create a pie chart on Google Sheets.
Step 1: Select the Data You Want to Use for Your Pie Chart
First, you should select the data to be used to generate the pie chart by left-clicking and dragging your mouse across the data you want to use as shown in the screenshot above.
Step 2: Go to Insert -> Chart in the Main Menu
In the main menu, go to Insert -> Chart, you have the option of creating a chart from the selected data. Select a pie chart from “Graph type” in the graph editor displayed on the right side of the spreadsheet.
Step 3: Generate a Pie Chart
Depending on the context, Google Sheets inserts a different diagram as a suggestion. If the pie chart is not inserted initially, you can use the “Chart Type” option in the “Chart Editor” panel to convert the chart to a pie chart as shown in the screenshot above.
Formatting a Pie Chart in Google Sheets
Now that you have generated your pie chart, there is a good chance you want to edit it in some way. So let’s go over the editing option available in Google Sheets for editing a pie chart.
Select Styles/Design Templates
Sheets already has some pretty well-preformatted pie chart design templates. However, these are limited to basic formattings such as colors and text.
You can find these templates in the menu item “Format” and the sub-item “Design.”
As you can see from the screenshot above, Google Sheets provides several options for themes you can use for your spreadsheet and pie chart.
Simply click on the theme you want to use and the theme will change accordingly as you can see in the screenshot above.
If changes are necessary, you can do this via the “Customize” tab of the “Chart Editor.” If you don’t select a design template, you can work on changes manually.
Since the title of the pie chart is composed of the column headings by default, you may want to change it.
Double-click on the current title to select it. Press the backspace key to delete it and type in your new title as shown in the screenshot above.
Changing the color of a specific pie slice in Google Sheets
While Google Sheets come with excellent themes, you may want to change the color of a specific pie “slice”.
To do this, double-click to select the respective “piece of cake,” right-click and select “Format pie slice” from the available options. Then, choose an appropriate fill color.
Your pie slice should now be in the color you selected as shown in the screenshot above. This can be repeated for each part of the pie chart as needed.
Creating an Inner Circle to a Pie Chart in Google Sheets
You can also make a donut out of the cake by adding an inner circle. To create a donut hole inside your pie chart, do the following:
- Right-click on your pie chart
- Select “Chart Style” from the available options to bring up the Chart Editor panel
- Click on the “Customize” tab
- Click on the “Pie Chart” dropdown to open up the pie chart options
- Click on the “Donut Hole” dropdown and select the size percentage you want
You can format this in 25% steps. You can also choose 50%. The option is in the “Pie chart” subsection of the “Customize” area of the diagram editor as shown in the screenshot above.
Customizing Pie Chart Labels in Google Sheets
At the same time, you can provide each segment with a segment label. There are “Label,” “Value,” “Percent,” and “Value and Percentage.”
By choosing the latter, you will see the absolute and relative frequencies in each segment as shown in the screenshot above.
In addition, you can set the font color to white and reduce the font size a little if only partial segments are provided with frequencies.
Changing the Distance to the Center (“Circle Explosion”)
To emphasize a pie slice by offsetting it from the center of the circle in Google Sheets, do the following:
- Double-click on the pie slice you want to emphasize to bring up the Chart Editor for that slice
- Click on the “Customize” tab
- Click on the “Pie slice” dropdown
- Click on the “Distance from center” dropdown and select the offset percentage
You should see your pie slice offset as shown in the screenshot above.
Downloading a Created Pie Chart
You can download your pie chart as an image file or PDF. To download your pie chart in Google Sheets, do the following:
- Click on the pie chart
- Click on the vertical ellipsis button in the upper-right corner of the pie chart
- Select “Download” from the option
- Select the file type you want from the available options
Publishing a Pie Chart
To publish your pie chart to the web in Google Sheets, do the following:
- Click on the pie chart
- Click on the vertical ellipsis button in the upper-right hand corner of the pie chart window
- Select “Publish chart” from the available options
- Click on either the “Link” or “Embed” tab based on your needs
- Click the “Publish” button
Your pie chart should now be published and accessible either via URL if you chose the “Link” option or as an embeddable code for your website via the “Embed” option
I hope this tutorial was helpful to you. Good luck!