How to Make a Pie Chart: Step-by-Step Guide (& Templates)

How to Make a Pie Chart: Step-by-Step Guide (& Templates)

Written by:
Chloe West

Sep 09, 2021
An illustration of a handing putting together a pie chart.

If you need to create a new chart or graph, you might be wondering what is the best type of graph for your data. If you need to visualize parts of a whole or various percentages, you need to know how to make a pie chart.

A pie chart is an easy-to-create circular diagram that shows how different things are broken up, whether it’s how your budget was spent last month or the different sources that sent traffic to your website.

In this post, we’re going to talk more about how to make a pie chart and share a few pie chart templates to help you out.

Or, you can skip the how to and dive right into our pie chart maker to get started creating your chart now.

 

6-Step Process for Making a Professional Pie Chart

 

What is a Pie Chart?

A pie chart is a circular graph, visualizing parts of a whole as if they were pieces of a pie.

If you’ve ever checked out your website’s Google Analytics, there’s a chance you’ve seen a pie chart before when checking out your top traffic channels or the percentage of new versus returning website visitors.

A pie chart commonly seen in Google Analytics.

Pie charts are perfect for visualizing percentages or other parts of a whole. The entire circle or pie is 100%, and it’s broken down into different sized pieces – much like a pie would be.

 

Step #1: Start With a Template or Blank Canvas

There are a variety of data visualization tools available that you can use to create an easy-to-understand pie chart. Personally, we recommend using Visme, and we’ll be including a few screenshots within this tutorial to help you understand how you could create your own pie chart.

With Visme’s pie chart maker, you can choose from one of many professionally designed templates to jumpstart your design. These can be used whether you need to create a pie chart to visualize:

  • Stats for a blog post
  • Website analytics in a report
  • Percentages within a presentation
  • An infographic block

Or, you can start with a blank canvas and create a pie chart all on its own from scratch. It’s up to you and (a) your comfort level in design and (b) the time you have to finalize the design.

If you’re trying to create a quick design on the fly, we recommend using a pre-designed template. Check out a few of our options below.

Pie Chart Templates

Create pie charts online quickly and easily by getting started with one of Visme’s premade templates. Visualize percentages and parts of a whole. Find a free pie chart template that you can easily customize with your own information.

Step #2: Pull Your Data

Determine what it is you’re trying to visualize in your pie chart. For the purposes of this post, we’re going to create a pie chart that showcases a marketing team’s budget. This type of pie chart would likely make its way into a marketing report to showcase how that month’s budget was allocated.

Let’s say our sample marketing team’s budget was split between the following:

  • Social Media Ads
  • PPC Ads
  • Content Writing
  • Video Production
  • Marketing Tools

And the monthly marketing budget is $5,000. The $5,000 was split up like so:

  • Social Media Ads: $2,500
  • PPC Ads: $500
  • Content Writing: $1,000
  • Video Production: $750
  • Marketing Tools: $250

Gathering the data you need to visualize is key to creating a pie chart that helps your audience understand your information at a glance.

turn boring numbers into beautiful data with visme

 

Step #3: Input Your Data

Next, you’ll input the data you collected into your chart tool and watch your chart come to life.

With Visme, you have a few different options for adding data to your chart. First, and what we did with this sample since the data set was rather small, you can simply type or paste it into the Chart Data tab.

A screenshot showing how to input data in a pie chart in Visme.

For a pie chart, this will typically be the best way to add data, as you don’t want to put too much data into one single pie. Otherwise your viewer will have a hard time reading the differences in each of the slices.

But for other types of charts, you can head to the Import Data tab and upload an Excel file or connect a live Google Sheet so your Visme chart updates automatically when the Google Sheet is updated.

This is a great way to create live dashboards and make sharing data and analytics simpler. You share one single Visme link with your viewer and keep updating the numbers behind the scenes. Your viewer will only see the most accurate data each time they view your dashboard.

 

Step #4: Color Code Your Pie Chart

Every good chart needs good color coding. This is how your audience will understand what the different pieces of the chart mean and how to read the data.

Be sure to use colors that contrast well, so that it’s easy to tell the different pieces of the pie from each other. As you can see in our sample chart, we’ve used a variety of pastel colors that work well together, but still make it easy to read.

A screenshot showing how to color code a pie chart in Visme.

With Visme, you can select from premade color themes that change your overall color scheme with a click. Or, you can easily insert your branding using our brand design tool and apply your brand colors to the chart.

 

Step #5: Customize Your Pie Chart Design

The next step is to customize your chart design. This includes adding your legend as well as any additional design elements, like your header or the circles we included for decoration in our sample chart.

A screenshot of shapes and icons available to customize a pie chart in Visme.

You can create your legend in a variety of ways:

  • Icons: Use icons, as we did in our example, to represent each of the pieces of data in your chart.
  • Colors: You could also simply showcase squares of color next to each label.
  • Text:  Place the text labels in matching colors to your chart or color code them in your header.
  • Pop-ups: Visme’s charts have interactive capabilities, so you can use pop-ups as legends in embedded charts.

Be sure to explore the shapes, icons, illustrations and other design elements available in Visme’s dashboard to finalize your overall chart design so it’s visually appealing and grabs audience attention.

 

Step #6: Share Your Pie Chart

Now you’re all done! It’s time to share your pie chart with its intended audience.

While we’ve just downloaded our example as a high-resolution image from Visme, there are many other ways you can share your chart.

A marketing budget pie chart.

First, you can download your chart in one of several formats: JPEG, PNG, PDF, HTML5, PPTx, GIF or MP4.

Second, you can generate a unique link for your project to send in emails, on social media or to your team. Your link can be public or private and password protected. This is a great way to keep interactivity intact on your chart so viewers can access your legend.

Another great way to share an interactive chart is by grabbing the embed code that Visme provides and embedding it into a blog post or landing page.

Visme’s embedments appear naturally on your website, enhancing the content and providing your audience with a unique interactive experience.

Our last suggestion is to add your chart to another project. This could be a live dashboard, a report, a presentation, an infographic or something unique you’re creating for your team or your audience.

If you go this route, you can either copy your chart and paste it onto another project, or you can save it as a content block that you can easily add to any new project.

 

15 Pie Chart Templates to Help You Get Started

Now that you’ve got the step-by-step for creating your own pie chart, let’s show you a few of our pre-designed templates that can help jumpstart the process. Using a template helps cut down on overall design time since you know you’ve got a quality design from the get go.

Template #1: SaaS Website Performance Pie Chart Template

A SaaS website performance pie chart template available to customize in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Showcasing your website’s performance is an ideal way to use a pie chart. As we see here, the website performance is broken down into pieces, with the largest chunk due to unique pageviews.

Template #2: T-Shirt Sales Pie Chart Template

A sales pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

A pie chart is also useful for determining which products are purchased most often. In this template, the sales patterns are almost identical, but in your own online store, it’s likely that you’ll have a bigger discrepancy.

Template #3: Camera Company Sales Pie Chart Template

A camera company sales pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

This pie chart showcases the most successful camera companies, broken down by sales. As we can see, Sony has the biggest market share. Customize this to visualize the market share in your industry.

Template #4: Favorite Sports Pie Chart Template

A favorite sports pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

If you’re conducting a multiple choice poll, a pie chart is perfect for visualizing the array of answers. In this chart, we can see students’ favorite sports based on which is most popular and which is least popular.

Template #5: Most Movies Watched Pie Chart Template

A movies watched pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

If you’re trying to create a smaller chart, using a half pie chart works exactly the same way. Here, we see half a pie chart visualizing the genres of movies watched in any given year.

Template #6: COVID-19 Infection Rate Pie Chart Template

A COVID-19 infection rate pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

In this template, we see a 3D pie chart, giving us yet another unique way we can visualize data with a circle. This instance has 8 different data sets, although it’s easiest to visualize 6 or less items in a single pie chart.

Template #7: Mobile Industry Market Share Pie Chart Template

A market share pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

This template utilizes photography as an accent to the chart, helping viewers instantly know what they’re going to be learning about in this chart.

Template #8: Customer Feedback Pie Chart Template

A customer survey pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Pie charts are incredibly useful tools for visualizing survey results. Here, we see the results of a customer feedback survey showcasing how many customers are satisfied versus dissatisfied with a business.

Template #9: Program Participants Age Group Pie Chart Template

An age group pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

This template is showcasing how many people in different age groups are participating in a certain program. Having information like this at a glance can be a great way to understand the dynamic of your participants.

Template #10: Popular Internet Browsers Pie Chart Template

A popular internet browsers pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

A pie chart is also great for ranking popularity, as we see here in the most popular internet browsers. And who’s surprised at the winner being Google Chrome? Not this Chrome user!

Template #11: Personal Expense Management Pie Chart Template

A personal expense pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

This is a personal finance version of the sample we created in the above tutorial, breaking down someone’s budget or expenses into categories. If you’re trying to visualize your own budget, using a pie chart is a great idea.

Template #12: Beverage Consumption Pie Chart Template

A beverage consumption pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Recognize this template? We customized it in the tutorial we went through earlier in the post. See how these templates can be so versatile? Customize this into your own pie chart vision.

Template #13: Expenditure Summary Pie Chart Template

Expense report pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

This pie chart template breaks down the expenditure report of a company so team leaders can see it at a glance. For simple data, pie charts are perfect graphs to include in reports because they’re so easily digestible.

Template #14: Regional Sales Comparison Pie Chart Template

A regional sales pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

This template is really minimalistic in that it doesn’t actually showcase the exact percentages. If you don’t need to know or display exact numbers, keep it simple like we see here, just so viewers can see the majority and minority choices.

Template #15: Classroom Grades Pie Chart Template

A classroom grades pie chart template available in Visme.
Customize this template and make it your own!Edit and Download

Here, we have another half pie chart showcasing the distribution of class grades. As we can see, the largest percentage of 3rd grade students in this class have a B+ or a C+. Use this template to showcase your own percentages.

 

Create Your Pie Chart Today

Now that you know how to create a pie chart and have a library of templates at your fingertips, it’s time to get started! Use Visme’s pie chart maker for free today. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

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    About the Author

    Chloe West is the content marketing manager at Visme. Her experience in digital marketing includes everything from social media, blogging, email marketing to graphic design, strategy creation and implementation, and more. During her spare time, she enjoys exploring her home city of Charleston with her son.

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