April 1, 2021

How to create a pie chart in Google Sheets

Chart with arrows pointing up and down
SECTIONS
  1. How to create a pie chart
  2. How to create a doughnut chart
  3. How to create a 3D pie chart
  4. How to change the legend position
  5. A sample sheet to check

Google Sheets offers three types of bar charts: the simple bar chart, the stacked bar chart, and the 100% stacked bar chart. This tutorial is a straightforward guide on inserting a bar chart in Google Sheets with some notes on the type of data that it requires you to have.

How to create a pie chart

Here are the steps in creating a pie chart from an existing dataset in Google Sheets:

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

The dataset to be visualized, selected
The dataset to be visualized, selected


Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted


Step 3: The selected chart type is not a pie chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below the Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the Pie chart, and click it.

Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Pie chart selected
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Pie chart selected


Step 4: We now have a pie chart. To add title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor, then click Chart axis & titles

Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.


Step 5: If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. On the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart.

Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.


Step 6: Here are some options in modifying the title of the chart:

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from, such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from size 10 to 36. You can specify a value beyond the given options. You can also choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title, go to Title format, then click the Alignment option. Click the Center option. 

We now have the following chart!

Pie chart with title and labels
Pie chart with title and labels


Click here to learn how to add the title or axis labels, as well as how to change the colors.

How to create a doughnut chart

A somewhat more aesthetic form of pie charts is the doughnut chart, which sports a hole in the center. Functionally, they do the same thing, so the choice between a pie chart and a doughnut chart would depend on the aesthetics you are aiming for. 

Here are the steps in creating a doughnut chart:

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

The dataset to be visualized, selected
The dataset to be visualized, selected


Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted


Step 3: The selected chart type is not a doughnut chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below the Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the Doughnut chart and click it. 

Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Doughnut chart selected
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, Doughnut chart selected


Step 4: We now have a doughnut chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor, then click Chart axis & titles

Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.


Step 5. If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. On the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart.

Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.


Step 6. Here are some options in modifying the title of the chart:

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from a range from 10 to 36. You can specify a value beyond the given options. You can also choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title, go to Title format and click the Alignment option. Then click the Center option. 

We now have the following chart!

Doughnut chart with title and labels
Doughnut chart with title and labels


Click here to learn how to add the title, axis labels, or change the colors.

How to create a 3D pie chart

Another type of pie chart that you can create in Google Sheets is the 3D pie chart. Just like pie chart and doughnut chart, the choice of using a 3D pie chart depends on the aesthetics. Note, however, that the use of 3D pie charts is discouraged because it causes misinterpretations regarding the data visualized.

Nonetheless, here are the steps in creating a 3d pie chart:

Step 1: Select the range of data that you want to visualize.

The dataset to be visualized, selected
The dataset to be visualized, selected


Step 2: Click Insert, then click Chart.

Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted
Insert option selected on the main menu, drop down box, Chart highlighted


Step 3: The selected chart type is not a 3D pie chart by default. On the right side, the Chart editor sidebar is loaded. Click the drop-down box below the Chart type. A list of possible chart types will be loaded. Look for the 3D pie chart, and click it.

Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, 3d pie chart selected
Chart editor, Setup tab, Chart type, 3d pie chart selected


Step 4: We now have a 3d pie chart. To add a title to the chart, go to the Customize tab in the Chart editor, then click Chart axis & titles

Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.
Chart editor, Customize tab. Chart & axis titles option highlighted.


Step 5. If you want to add a chart title, make sure that the drop-down box displays the option Chart title. On the text box below the drop-down box, type the title of the chart.

Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.
Chart & axis titles option. Chart title selected. Title text: Annual Sales 2020.


Step 6. Here are some options in modifying the title of the chart:

  • To change the font of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font. There are 12 fonts to choose from such as Arial, Georgia, and Verdana. 
  • To change the size of the title, click the drop-down box below the label Title font size. You can select from a range of 10 to 36. You can specify a value beyond the given options. You can also choose Auto to let Google Sheets adjust the font size fit for the given chart.
  • To center align the title, go to Title format, then click the Alignment option. Click the Center option. 

We now have the following chart!

3D pie chart with title and labels
3D pie chart with title and labels


If, originally, you have a doughnut chart and decide to change it to 3d pie chart, you would get a 3d doughnut chart:

3d doughnut chart with title and labels
3d doughnut chart with title and labels


Click here to learn how to add the title, axis labels, or change the colors.

How to change the legend position

By default, the legend position used by pie charts is called Labeled, which marks each component of the pie chart with its own label that corresponds to the label of the values in the source data.

Sometimes it is not the best legend position. If you wish to change it, here are the steps:

Step 1: If the Chart editor sidebar is not loaded, double-click on the chart. 

Step 2: Click the Customize tab in the Chart editor.

Step 3: Click the Legend option listed under the Customize tab.

Step 4: A list of legend options will appear. What we are looking for is the Position option.

Chart editor, Customize tab. Legend option clicked.
Chart editor, Customize tab. Legend option clicked.


You can move the legend to the top, bottom, left, or right. But for my case, I am happy with the Labeled option. 

A sample sheet to check

If you got a bit lost, or just want to check if you are doing it right, here’s a sample sheet that you can open to see how they work:

Pie Chart Sample Sheet

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