How to Make a Pie Chart in Google Sheets? [Secret of Creating Stunning Charts]

John Ozuysal
John Ozuysal
January 18, 2023
January 18, 2023

Google Sheets are extensively used by companies and marketing teams to collect, track, and visualize customer and business data.

However, despite being popular, users aren’t generally familiar with the platform. 🧐

Our team brought this up when they saw an excess of users googling ‘how do I make a pie chart in Google Sheets.’

So, we thought of bringing up a detailed and effective guide on how to make a pie chart on Google Sheets.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to add a pie chart in Google Sheets, and later help you explore a much better alternative for creating pie charts.


  • There are 4 main steps in creating a pie chart in Google Sheets
  • Step 1: Build your database
  • Step 2: Create a pie chart in Google Sheets with the database you have
  • Step 3: Take care of styling and choose the type of pie chart you want - general, 3D, or doughnut chart
  • Step 4: Explore the customization option to personalize the pie chart
  • Creating pie charts in Google Sheets have several drawbacks like tough to create on your mobile, the process is time-consuming, chart isn’t aesthetically pleasing, there are database limitations
  • You can replace the pie chart creation process in Google Sheets with Datapad which is a mobile-first dashboard platform
  • Some of Datapad’s features include - automatic and manual data import, team collaboration, real-time data tracking, and several customization options

How to Create a Pie Chart in Google Sheets?

Down the lane, we have prepared a step-by-step guide on how to create a pie chart on Google Sheets.

Here’s a video tutorial of the whole process:

Step 1: Build Your Database

Do you know - to visualize a dataset, what's the foremost thing you require?

A dataset, of course.😉

So we have created a mockup dataset representing the region-wise sales of a company.

Note: Pie charts are ideal for comparing values within the same category.

Here, we've divided our dataset into three columns: Region, Sales, and % Increase in sales.

These columns are the building blocks of the pie chart. They communicate to the program what information needs to go inside the pie chart.

For instance, in our dataset, we have placed the data labels we desire in each slice of the pie in column A.

And then, in columns B and C, we added the numeric values we wanted to represent through the pie chart.

Step 2: Create a Pie Chart from Your Database

Now that we have a dataset let's learn how to insert a pie chart in Google Sheets.

To get started, select the dataset (columns) you want to visualize.

Then click on Insert in the menu bar.

A drop-down appears with a list of customization. Click on Chart to visualize your dataset.

Google Sheets presents you with a default chart type to visualize your data as it did for our dataset 👇🏻

However, you can always change the chart type as you desire. To do so, click on three vertical dots in the top right corner of your default chart.

The Google Sheets in-built chart editor opens up on the right side of your sheet.

Pro Tip: You can also double-click on the chart to open the editor directly.

Now, using the chart editor’s customize tab, you get access to plenty of ways to set up and customize your default chart type.

Let's first change the default chart type to a pie chart.

To do so, click on the Chart Type drop-down, scroll down a gallery of pre-built chart types, and halt near the Pie Chart section.

Here you're offered three pie chart options:

  • General Pie Chart: A simple pie chart divided into slices with labels and values
  • Doughnut Pie Chart: Similar to a pie chart, but can contain more than one data series
  • 3D Pie Chart: A 3-dimensional illustration of a pie chart

Click on your preferred chart type, and there you go!

Now that you know how to insert a pie chart in Google Sheets, let's now understand how to set up a pie chart on Google Sheets.

Step 3: Set up Your Charts As per Your Preference

In the same section of the chart editor, right below the chart type drop-down, you will see setup elements like data range, labels, and values.

Let's explore how each one serves the purpose.

#1. Date Range

Google Sheets is a dear friend of its novice users.

So even if you have visualized the wrong cells by mistake, you don't need to redo the whole process.

You can simply click on the select data range icon and change the existing data range or add another for visualization.

#2. Labels

Using this section, you can change the labels of your pie chart. For example, in our pie chart, we have used Region as a label to present data on the chart.

However, you can choose to represent your pie chart using Sales numbers or other data categories (if any).

#3. Values

Values, here, mean the values you want to display on a pie slice.

If we want to display another value on the slices, let's say we want to show % increase in sales as values on every slice. We'll click on the below title, and here's how it will go👇🏻

Note: You must have another column with values in your dataset to get this option.

So until now, we saw how to create and set up a pie chart. In the next section, we’ll explore how to edit pie chart in Google Sheets.

Step 4: Customize Your Pie Chart to Make It Look Better

In the chart editor, there's a Customize option beside the Setup menu. Right here👇🏻

From here, you can customize every neck of the woods of your chart. Let's drill down the elements in the customizer one by one.

#1. Chart Style

Use the chart style section to custom format your pie chart's font style, background color, and borderline colors.

Furthermore, you can also change the look and dimensions of your pie chart by ticking Maximize and 3D check boxes.

#2. Pie Chart

This section offers some outlandish customizations. Like, you can put a doughnut hole in your pie chart. Yup, we're damn serious! 😮

Even though you opted for a general pie chart type, Gsheets still allow you to transform your chart into a doughnut pie chart.

Click on the Donut Hole drop-down and choose the percentage (area) of the hole.

For instance, in our pie chart, we opted for 50%, and here's how it looks.

Additionally, you can use the Slice Label drop-down to add labels/values/percentages to every pie chart slice. For example, we added Value to every slice, and here's what we got.

💭Food for thought: Isn't the pie chart getting better with every step?

#3. Pie Slice

From this section, you change the color of every slice in the pie chart.

Simply select a Slice > Pick a color, and it'll be displayed in real-time.

Now let's understand how to change title of a pie chart in Google Sheets.

#4. Chart & Axis Titles

This section is all about it! From here, you can edit the chart titles and subtitles. Plus, you can even customize the font style, size, format, and colors.

#5. Legend

A legend helps you add meaning to your chart.

Let's be real, what's the purpose of creating a pie chart if we add too much text to explain it?

Let's take an example.

Previously our chart legend positioning was set on Auto or Labeled, and the chart looked like this.

Then we changed the positioning to the Bottom, and you can see the difference.

Moving forward, you can also change the legend font style, size, format, and color.

And that's the end of the ladder. You have successfully learned how do you make a pie chart on Google Sheets.

Bonus Step: Export/Share a Pie Chart

You can share/export your pie chart in two ways: Online and Offline.

To share it offline, click on File in the top left corner of the menu bar.

Then hover over Download to explore various downloading formats like Microsoft Excel, PDF, or CSV formats.

Or, a better way is to Email the sheet to your stakeholders or team members directly.

Drawbacks of Creating Pie Charts with Sheets

Although creating pie charts with Sheets is no rocket science, the process does involve certain limitations, such as:

#1. Hard to Create on the Go

With Sheets, the process of creating pie charts gets complicated as the screen size reduces.

You see, although Gsheets offers a dedicated mobile app for users, doing the same process you just did on a laptop or PC would be difficult.

This is mainly because the UI/UX needs to be better optimized to be used on the go. You might often find it challenging to edit charts or encounter half-volley graphs in your Gsheet mobile app.

#2. Time-Consuming

Unlike Datapad (our tool), Google Sheets offer limited automation. It's evident to you by the 5-step process we have discussed above.

Although the process is easy-to-do, at the same time, it's lengthy and time-consuming.

In fact, in sheets, data validation and preparation is labor-intensive, i.e., you need to manually double-check and re-enter any incorrect information.

P.S. No wonder why it took so long for data analysts and marketers to visualize data via spreadsheets or even Google Sheets.

#3. Isn't Aesthetically Pleasing

Of all the data visualizations provided by Gsheets, no one stands to be called 'stunning' or 'beautiful.'

Harsh but true!

Simply put, pie charts prepared in Gsheets aren't aesthetically pleasing for viewers. Factually, this was a major pain point considering which dashboarding tools like Datapad were created.

Datapad comparably offers much better, stunning, and pixel-perfect data visualization elements. Moreover, you can easily customize the look and feel of your charts using the in-built drag-and-drop builder.

So your chart look typically relies on your design perception.

#4. Database Limitations

Most of us think that Sheets allow unlimited data storage.

Well, we don't disagree entirely. Gsheets offer a sufficient number of cells to collect and store databases of small companies that deal in tens and thousands of data.

However, at the same time, when dealing with millions and trillions of terabytes of data (which is typical for large-sized enterprises in today's data-driven world), Sheets won't be the right fit for you.

As per reports, Google Sheets limits you to 10,000,000 cells for new and converted documents.

Create Stunning Charts with Datapad

Datapad is a mobile-friendly data visualization and dashboarding platform that allows anyone to present messy data via stunning charts and diagrams.

Unlike Sheets, Datapad's mobile-first approach makes your data easily accessible on mobile devices. We mean, you can create, edit, and customize your charts while sitting anywhere around the globe.

Furthermore, Datapad automates half the processes involved in data extraction, validation, and visualization.

Here's a small guide on how to create a pie chart using Datapad.

Step 1: Register on Datapad

To get started, download the Datapad app on your mobile devices (available for both Android and iPhone users). Or, simply scan the below QR code to get the app.

Once into the app, sign up with a valid email address.

Note: We'll use the provided email to communicate further instructions, updates, or activities in your Datapad account. So ensure to provide an active email address.

Step 2: Create Your Workspace

Once onboard, you'll be prompted to create a personal workspace.

A workspace is where you keep all your files and manage your day-to-day operations.

When prompted with this (👇🏻) dialogue box, give a name to your workspace and press enter.

Step 3: Create a Dashboard

Click on the (+) sign in the top right corner to create a new dashboard.

Here, you'll be prompted to fill in additional details like the dashboard – name, description, and an emoji (optional).

And that's it! Your dashboard is ready. But hold on, what's a dashboard without data?

Step 4: Import Data to Your Dashboard

You can easily import data using our one-click integrations to popular data points. You just need to follow the 3C's:

  • Click on the horizontal dots in the top right corner of your screen
  • Click on Use a data source
  • Choose a data point from the list

Here's the process in action👇🏻

Besides, here are few key features of Datapad that give it an upper hand over Gsheets and other tools used for creating charts.

#1. Mobile-Responsiveness

Unlike typical desktop-ridden platforms, Datapad is a complete no-code mobile-friendly platform. It has been tried and tested for performance and responsiveness on all small-screen devices.

The best part is you can access your charts remotely from anywhere worldwide. All you require is a stable network.

With Datapad, you can expect the following:

  • Instant access to charts
  • Pixel-perfect charts (no half-volley graphs)
  • Lightning-fast speed
  • Easy navigation through the app

#2. Ease of Data Import

Datapad allows you to import data both ways: Automatically and Manually.

Earlier, we saw how you could easily import data to Datapad via our one-click integrations. Now let's see how you can do the same manually yet effortlessly.

To import data manually:

  • Click on Add Metric > Enter data manually
  • Enter the data values
  • Choose a visualization type
  • Customize the visualization as per your need
  • Click on Add metric

Note: This is where you can select a Pie chart for a suitable database as well. 😊

#3. Seamless Team Collaboration

With Datapad, you can onboard your team members using our one-click email invite feature.

Furthermore, collaborations in Datapad are more effortless than in Gsheets or spreadsheets.

You can simply comment under a particular metric and your team will be instantly notified of your comment. Likewise, your team members can reply under your comment to keep the discussion steering until your comment is finally resolved.

Here's the feature in action

#4. Real-Time Alerts and Notifications

As mentioned previously, our tool sends real-time alerts or push notifications for any comment placed under a metric.

But there's more to it.

You can even set up data-driven or event-driven triggers for metrics. For example, if a particular metric nosedives below your set threshold point, you and your team will receive instant alerts.

This minimizes the possibility of any blind spots when tracking KPIs on the go. Moreover, in time-sensitive situations, event-driven alerts help you make quick and effective decisions to minimize the damage.

#5. Role-Based Management

With Datapad, you get access to the entire admin console. You can control who can view/edit/access your charts. At the same time, you can change the type of access provided to individual roles with a click.

#5. Flexible Customizations

Customizing your charts in Datapad is a complete no-code job. Our intuitive drag-and-drop customizer allows you to edit every corner of your chart hassle-free.

Additionally, Datapad offers tons of highly customizable charts, tables, graphs, and widgets.

With Datapad, you can perform:

  • Customization of your charts within minutes
  • Add/remove elements with the intuitive drag-and-drop customizer
  • Custom format font style, size, and colors

With so many features and a mobile-first app, who won’t like to give our tool a try, right? So scan the QR code, sign up to the platform, and eliminate Google Sheets when you want to make a pie chart!

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