Pie and donut charts are circular graphs divided into “slices”, where each slice is sized proportionally to its data’s share of the data as a whole.
Pie and donut charts are one of more than a dozen different types of charts you can create in Spreadsheet.com. Adding charts to a workbook gives you another way to visualize your data beyond the spreadsheet grid and can help you identify important statistics and trends in your data that may not be obvious when only looking at numbers.
Introduction to Pie and Donut Charts
Pie charts are circular graphs divided into “slices”, where each slice is sized proportionally to its data’s share of the data as a whole. Pie charts show the relationships between the whole of a variable and its parts. Donut charts are similar to pie charts, but have a hollow center.
Pie and donut charts help visualize how a large value is made up of component parts. You might use a pie chart to show how total sales numbers are broken down by region, display the number of alumni who graduated in each year, or visualize the composition of a stock portfolio.
How to Create a New Chart
- Click the Insert chart icon in the toolbar, or select Insert > Chart from the workbook menu
- From the Setup portion of the dialog, select your chart type under the "Type" header
Like all other chart types, you can configure your column charts from the Chart settings panel. The panel will automatically appear when you add a new chart to your workbook, or can be opened by clicking the three-dot icon in the top right corner of an existing chart and selecting “Edit chart” from the dropdown, or by double clicking on the chart itself.
The Setup section of the Chart settings dialog allows you to specify the data that will be included in your chart. In the example below, we'll create a pie chart to show the cumulative annual sales in Asia, broken down by quarter. Let's take a closer look:
Before selecting your Label and Value data, you should determine whether the Data series type is “Row based” or “Column based”.
Whether your chart should use Row based or Column based data depends on two things: (1) what you’re trying to visualize and (2) how your data is organized. Column based data allows you to select columns and ranges of values organized into columns as axis and series values for your chart. Row based data allows you to select rows as axis and series values for your chart.
Which data series type should I use?
Let’s take a look at two sample tables, both with the same data showing the number of units sold for three different products during one week. From this data, we want to create a chart organized by Product # with one series for each day of the week.
If our data was organized like the table on the left, where the Product # values are held in a row, we would select Row based data. We could specify our X-axis or Y-axis as the Product # row and select our subsequent series as each of the five rows underneath, one for each day of a week.
If our data was organized like the table on the right, where the Product # values are held in a column, we would select Column based data. We could specify our X-axis or Y-axis as the Product # column and select our subsequent series as each of the five subsequent columns, one for each day of a week.
In the example above, our Label data is in the form of a column, so we are using column based data.
From the Label dropdown , select the column whose unique values will be represented as slices of the pie chart. By default, the pie chart will show a count of each of these variables’ frequencies. Here, we’ve selected “Month” to breakup our pie chart by time intervals and have opted to aggregate by quarter.
If the data type of your Label selection is a Date or Date & time column, you can opt to aggregate the Label values by days, weeks, months, quarters, or years.
To show a different value than count for each slice of the pie chart, select that value from the Value dropdown . Because we want to show the total sales for Asia, we’ve selected “Asia” as our value.
If you toggle “Aggregated” under the Label dropdown, you can specify your aggregation function to the right of the Value field. Here, we’ve selected sum to capture the total sales per quarter.
Finally, at the bottom of the dialog, toggle “Use first row as header” to specify whether or not the first row of your selection should be considered a header row and excluded from the chart data.
If the first row of your selection is the table header row, you do not need to toggle “Use first row as header” as this row will automatically be treated as a header row.
The Configuration section of the Chart settings dialog allows you to configure the visual appearance of your chart. Let’s take a closer look:
- Chart & axis titles: Assign and format a title for your chart, placed above the chart.
- Pie Chart: Change the color assigned to each slice of the pie chart, as well as add additional labels to each slice.
- Legend: Edit the legend that's placed on your chart. By default, "Labeled" is selected.
As you change these options, your chart will automatically update to reflect the changes.
Once you've added a title to your chart, you can edit it by double clicking on the title itself directly on your chart.
Learn about managing your existing charts, including how to resize, copy, and download them as standalone images. Or, read on to learn more about additional chart types like column charts, bar charts, and line charts.