How to modify a pie chart
Don’t like how the above chart looks like? No worries – there is a plenty of ways how you may edit it to fit your needs.
The easiest way to change the looks of your pie chart in Excel is to apply a different chart style to it. To do so:
- Select the chart (you will see white circles on its corners and sides when selected).
After the chart is selected, two new tabs will appear on the ribbon. The ‘Chart Design’ and the ‘Format’ tab.
- Go to the Chart Design Tab > Charts Styles.
- Scroll through the chart styles that appear in the Chart Styles group to find the one for your chart.
- Once chosen, click on that chart style to have it applied to your chart.
Just like we did here.
Note how each slice displays its percentage value under the chosen chart style.
Different styles offer different looks to your chart; you can apply any of them by simply clicking on them👆
The charts’ colors are just too boring? We heard you and here’s how you can fix the colors of your pie chart in Excel.
- Select the chart.
- Go to the Chart Design Tab > Chart Styles > Change Colors.
Click on it and you will see a menu of color palettes before you.
- Hover your cursor on any color palette to preview how it looks when applied to the chart.
Here’s how our pie chart looks in tones of blue and green.
- Once you’ve chosen the right color palette for your pie chart, click on it and your chart would be recolored.
A chart without labels can not only be boring but hard to understand too.
To add data labels to your chart:
- Select the chart by clicking on it.
- Click on the plus sign appearing at the top-right corner of your chart.
- From the Chart Elements drop-down menu, check the box for Data labels.
This adds data labels to each slice of the Pie Chart, as shown below.
Each slice now contains a number. This is the number of students who scored any particular grade. For example, the red slice tells that 20 students scored a B grade🅱
This is not it – to further format the data labels of your pie chart:
- Right-click on the pie chart.
- From the context menu, choose Format Data Labels.
This takes you to the Format Data Labels pane.
- Choose from the variety of options for Data Labels from the “Label Options” as shown below.
Like do you want each slice to show the Grade along with the percentage proportion of students who scored that grade?
Every chart needs a title to tell the readers what’s coming their way. To add a title to your pie chart in Excel:
- Select the Chart.
- Click on the Plus sign that appears at the top right of the chart.
- Check the box for “Chart Title”.
- Give any name to your chart by typing it in the title box as shown below.
Excel offers many in-built layouts for pie charts✌ To change the layout of your chart:
- Select the pie chart.
- Head to the Chart Design Tab > Chart Styles Group > Quick layout.
This launches a drop-down menu of options for the layout of your chart.
- Hover your cursor around different layouts to have a quick preview of each.
- Click on any layout to have it applied to your pie chart.
For example, here’s how the layout of our pie chart changes under the first layout style.
We now have each grade written inside the slice along with the percentage proportion of students who scored that grade.
Change Slice Angle
Changing the slice angle rotates the slices in the pie chart🍕 To do so:
- Right-click on the pie (the pie itself and not the space around it).
- From the context menu of options, click on Format Data Point.
This takes you to the Format Data Series pane.
- Look out for the Series option > Angle of First Slice.
- Increase the value of the “Angle of the first slice” by using the arrows. Or you can manually add a value to it.
As you increase the value, the slices of the pie chart start moving in an anti-clockwise direction.
For example, we have increased the angle value from 0 to 88, and the slices have accordingly rotated anti-clockwise.
Don’t want a simple and dull white background to your pie chart? Here’s how you can change it.
- Right-click anywhere on the chart.
- From the context menu that opens up, click on the “Format chart area” option.
This takes you to the ‘Format chart Area” pane.
- Look out for several color-filling options under the Fill header. And choose the one that suits your needs.
For example, how do you like the icy-blue gradient fill look that we just tried below🥶