Creating Your First Pie Chart PivotChart in Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Creating your first Pie Chart PivotChart in Excel can seem daunting, but fear not! It’s a simple process that involves selecting the right data, inserting a PivotChart, arranging your data fields, and customizing the chart to your liking. After reading this brief overview, you’ll be ready to dive into the details and create a visually appealing pie chart that represents your data perfectly.

Step by Step Tutorial: Creating Your First Pie Chart PivotChart in Excel

Before we begin, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. A Pie Chart PivotChart in Excel is a visual representation of data where each slice of the pie corresponds to a category and its size is proportional to the value or frequency of that category. It’s an excellent way to quickly get insights from your data.

Step 1: Select your data

Choose the data range that you want to include in your Pie Chart PivotChart.

When selecting your data, make sure it’s organized in a way that Excel can understand. Each column should represent a different category, and each row should have the data you want to analyze. For a pie chart, you typically need at least two columns: one for the categories and one for the values you want to show in the chart.

Step 2: Insert a PivotChart

Go to the Insert tab on the Excel ribbon and click on the PivotChart button.

After clicking the PivotChart button, you will see a dialog box where you can choose the type of chart you want to insert. Select "Pie" from the list of chart types, and then click "OK". Excel will then create a blank PivotChart on your worksheet.

Step 3: Arrange your data fields

Drag and drop your category field to the ‘Axis’ area and your value field to the ‘Values’ area in the PivotChart Fields pane.

The ‘Axis’ area determines what each slice of your pie will represent, while the ‘Values’ area determines the size of each slice. Make sure you place the right fields in the right areas to get the chart you want.

Step 4: Customize your Pie Chart PivotChart

Use the Chart Tools on the Excel ribbon to change the design, layout, and format of your Pie Chart PivotChart.

Customization is key to making your chart your own. You can change the color of the slices, add labels, adjust the title, and more. Play around with the different settings until you’re happy with how your chart looks.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a stunning Pie Chart PivotChart that showcases your data in a visually appealing way. Not only will it look great, but it will also help you and others understand the data better.

Tips for Creating Your First Pie Chart PivotChart in Excel

  • Keep your data range concise; too many categories can make a pie chart look cluttered.
  • Make sure your categories are mutually exclusive to avoid overlapping data.
  • Use contrasting colors to make each slice of the pie stand out.
  • Add data labels to your chart to make it easier for viewers to understand the values each slice represents.
  • If your pie chart is based on percentages, ensure they add up to 100%.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pie Chart PivotCharts in Excel

Can I use more than one set of values in my Pie Chart PivotChart?

Yes, you can, although it’s not common practice because it can make the chart confusing. If you want to represent multiple sets of values, consider using a different type of chart.

Pie Chart PivotCharts are best for showing how one set of values splits into different categories. If you have multiple sets of values that you want to compare, a bar chart or a column chart might be a better choice.

How do I change the color of the slices in my Pie Chart PivotChart?

To change the color of the slices, click on the slice you want to change, then go to the Format tab and select a new color from the Shape Fill dropdown.

Excel usually assigns colors automatically, but you can easily change them to suit your preference or to follow a specific color scheme you have in mind.

Can I add a legend to my Pie Chart PivotChart?

Absolutely! To add a legend, go to the Chart Tools Design tab, and select ‘Add Chart Element’ > ‘Legend’.

A legend can help viewers understand which color corresponds to which category, especially if you’re not using labels on the pie slices themselves.

Can I create a Pie Chart PivotChart with data that’s not in percentages?

Yes, but Excel will convert the values into percentages when displaying them in the pie chart since the pie must always represent 100%.

Even if your data isn’t in percentages, as long as you have numerical values associated with categories, Excel can transform these into a pie chart by calculating the percentage each value represents of the total sum.

How can I make my Pie Chart PivotChart more readable?

To make your pie chart more readable, avoid overcrowding it with too many categories, use clear labels, and consider using a sorted order where the largest slice comes first, followed by smaller slices.

A clear, uncluttered chart is easier to read and understand. If you have too many categories, consider grouping smaller ones into an ‘Other’ category.


  1. Select your data.
  2. Insert a PivotChart.
  3. Arrange your data fields.
  4. Customize your Pie Chart PivotChart.


Creating your first Pie Chart PivotChart in Excel is a fun and straightforward process that can bring your data to life. By following the simple steps outlined above, you’ll be well on your way to becoming proficient in Excel charting. Remember, the key to a great pie chart is clarity and simplicity. You want your viewers to grasp the information at a glance, and the right chart can communicate volumes without a word.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different customizations until you find the perfect look for your data. And if you ever get stuck, the Excel community is vast, with numerous forums and resources where you can seek advice. Dive in, have fun, and watch as your Pie Chart PivotChart takes shape, ready to tell the unique story of your data.