# 3 ways to make a pie chart

A pie chart is a type of diagram that is used to compare statistical data. It bears that name because it is a circle with smaller sections that resemble slices of a cake, and it shows portions of a total percentage in an easy-to-understand way. Plus, it can be a great tool when it comes to sharing complicated data. You can draw a pie chart by hand with a math compass, a pencil, and some colored markers. You can also use word processing software or a free online program to create a digital pie chart.

## Steps

### Method 1 of 3: Draw a Digital Pie Chart

#### Step 1. Create a pie chart in Excel using the charting tool

In an Excel spreadsheet, write the label for each piece of information in the left column. Record each corresponding data point in the row to the side. Click and hold the mouse to highlight labels and numbers before dragging it over all labels and data points. Release the mouse and click on the little icon that appears next to the numbers. Click on the "Charts" option and then "Pie Chart."

#### Note:

The order in which you list the data points determines the order in which they appear on the graph. This is important if you plan to create a sequential chart.

#### Step 2. Click the graphics button in Word to create a pie chart

In Microsoft Word, click on the "Insert" tab at the top of the program. Click on the 3 bars with the word "Chart" at the top of the page. On the left side of the window, click on the "Pie" option and select the style you want the chart to have. Then a new window will appear with a set of rows, colors, and a sample title.

• You must edit each tag by changing the words to reflect what its data represents. Click the title of the chart to edit it so that it reflects the theme of the pie chart. Replace each number on the side of each label to reflect your data.
• You can copy and paste any pie chart made in Excel or Word into PowerPoint.
• The pie chart you draw in Word will look identical to the pie chart you draw in Excel.

#### Step 3. Use a free program on the internet to generate a pie chart if you do not have Word or Excel programs

There are several free web pages that allow you to enter data to generate pie charts. You can surf the internet to find a free website that allows you to customize your design and enter your own values. You may have to create a free account on some pages to download the chart directly, but you can always use a screen capture program to take a snapshot of the chart.

• Two of the most popular charting tools on the internet are https://www.meta-chart.com/ and https://www.onlinecharttool.com. These allow you to control a variety of design elements and enter your own information.
• To use Meta-Chart, you must click on the "pie chart" option on the main screen. Choose your style, border and background color. Then, click on the "Data" tab to enter the numbers and on the "Labels" tab to enter the name of each data point. Finally, click on the "Show" option to generate your graph.
• To use the web graphics tool, select the "circular" option from the drop-down menu at the top of the screen. Select the look, colors, and design. Press "next" to enter your labels and data points. Then click "next" and select the source. Finally, click "next" one more time to generate the chart.

### Method 2 of 3: Calculate the statistical data

#### Step 1. Record all the data points and list them from highest to lowest

Start with the largest number in your data set. Write this information on the top row of a blank sheet of paper. Directly below this, you should write down the next highest number. Give each number its own row to create a column of data points.

### For example, if you are creating a pie chart of the number of animals on a farm, you would list 24 cows at the top, followed by 20 pigs and 6 chickens

#### Note:

it is easier to calculate whole numbers, so you should discard the decimals if possible. For example, you can convert 20, 4 to 20, or 5, 8 to 6. This will make things easier and probably won't affect the data significantly.

#### Step 2. Label each number you write down so you don't forget them

You can draw symbols or write labels according to the type of data your pie chart represents. Place each label directly next to the corresponding number in the same row as the number. This procedure makes it easy to keep track of what each number represents.

### For example, you can write “cows” next to 24, “pigs” next to 20 and “chickens” next to 6. Also, you can use small pictures to represent each animal or abbreviate them with the letters “V”, “C " And p"

#### Step 3. Add all the numbers to get the denominator

Draw a horizontal line under the column of data points and use a calculator to add all the numbers. Record the result below the horizontal line to get a denominator. This number is the one that will divide each data point to get a decimal.

• The denominator is the mathematical term for the number that falls below a fraction line.
• The idea is that you divide each individual number in your data by the denominator to get a decimal. This will show you the percentage of the sum that each data point has. You are multiplying each decimal by 360 to determine the section size it deserves on the pie chart.
• For the pie chart about farm animals, you add 24, 20, and 6 to get a total of 50. The result would be the denominator.

#### Step 4. Divide each individual number by the denominator to get a decimal

Use a calculator to divide each data point by the denominator. Record this new decimal next to the data point it corresponds to. Each number must be below 1, and the numbers in the new column must also be in descending order with the highest number at the top and the lowest number at the bottom.

• If any of the numbers turn out to be more than 1, then something went wrong. Each number must be a decimal.
• For the farm animal pie chart, 24/50 = 0.48 cows, 20/50 = 0.4 pigs, and 6/50 = 0.12 chickens.

#### Tip:

these decimals work in the same way as a percentage. For example, 0.44 is the same as 44%. This can help you conceptualize the size that each data point needs. If you're not interested in precision, you can stop at this point and use these percentages to create a sketch of your pie chart.

#### Step 5. Multiply each decimal by 360 to get the angle needed for each slice

Use the calculator to multiply each decimal by 360. Record each result next to the decimal so that each set of numbers remains in the row as the original data to which it corresponds.

• You may need to round the numbers up or down to get even amounts. For example, you may need to convert 56.6 to 57. Unless you are creating a specific type of pie chart that requires smaller calculations, keep it to whole numbers to make it easier to read.
• For the pie chart of farm animals, 0.48 cows x 360 = 172.8; 0.4 pigs x 360 = 144 and 0.12 chickens x 360 = 43.2. Round 172.8 to 173 and then 43.2 to 43.

Check your work by calculating the sum of the calculations you just performed. If the total of the sum is 360, then it is accurate. If it's 361 or 359, you've likely rounded a number down or up in the wrong direction. If the numbers are too far apart, then something has been lost and you need to check your work to find out where you went wrong.

### Method 3 of 3: Draw the graph

#### Step 1. Use a math compass to draw a perfect circle

If you want to be absolutely precise, find a math compass, put a pencil in the holder, and slide it in. Press the other needle into the point where you want to make the center of the circle. Rotate the pencil while keeping the needle still to draw a perfect circle.

• If you don't have a compass and don't mind a possible blemish, you can use any perfectly round object like a cap or bottle as a straight edge and trace it around.
• You can use a pen if you want, but you will have to start from scratch if you make a mistake.

#### Tip:

you can draw the circle as big as you like. You only need to know the angles of each section to draw the graph, and these do not depend on the size of the circle.

#### Step 2. Draw a straight line from the center to the edge of the circle to make the radius

Keep the compass needle in place and turn the pencil toward the top of the circle. Pull the pencil down toward the needle after loosening the hinge to create a radius. Depending on the style of the compass, you may need to place a dot in the center after moving the needle, and then draw the connecting line on your own with a straight edge.

### The straight line can be vertical (12 to 6 o'clock on the watch face) or horizontal (9 to 3 o'clock). The segments you draw afterwards must follow a sequence to the right or left

#### Step 3. Align a protractor with the radius

Place the small hole in the bottom of the protractor directly over the point where the compass needle was. Align the straight line with the 90 degree mark on the protractor.

### The hole at the bottom of the protractor is known as the crosshair and is used to create perfect 90 degree angles by creating a straight line with the 90 degree mark

#### Step 4. Draw each portion, moving the crosshairs each time you draw a line

Keep the crosshairs centered over the center of the circle and add the first data point to 90. Find this number on the outside of the protractor and draw a mark. Then draw a straight line from the mark to the center of the circle. Draw each new line toward the center of 90 degrees for the next section you calculate.

• For example, if you draw the pie chart of farm animals, the first number is 144. Add 144 and 90 to get 234. Draw a mark at 234 degrees and then make a line. Turn the protractor over and use the line you just drew as the new 90 degree mark. The next data point is 43 degrees. Use the line you just drew and add 43 and 90 to get 133 degrees. Draw a mark at 133 degrees and draw the line towards the center. The remaining section will be 173 degrees.
• If you want, you can use the protractor base and skip the step where you add 90 to a number. However, you will have to draw at an angle and it may be easier for you to make mistakes if you do.