MVP #34: Pie Charts and Column Charts in Excel

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In today's post I'll be showing an easy professional way of making Pie Charts and Column Charts in Excel. (The steps here will work fine for Office 2007 and 2010)

Pie Chart is very easy to make in Excel.

We’ll be making one from a fictitious population table. Here is the Excel file with our charts already made

In making Pie Charts, always have your values sorted, and in descending order preferably.

Select the table, goto Insert menu and insert a Pie Chart. 

Here’s the default chart from Excel.

To make it great, we take just one step. Goto Design menu and click on the first Chart Layout option.

Let’s make a column chart from the same table

Data analysts usually stay away from the 3-D charts. They make visual comparison difficult. We only use them when supplying the PR department with fancy reports.

For this example, we’ll be using the first option in the 2-D Column charts.

It’s called a Clustered Column chart. But I prefer to refer to it as the regular Column chart. The other two options are stacked column charts, they pile two or more values on one bar.

Here’s the default Excel makes for us.

Not very good. We need to make it look better.

Goto Design menu and click on the 3rd Chart Layout option.

Congrats! You've made a professionally looking pie chart and column chart.


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