Make a Better Pizza Pie Chart

While flipping through a magazine on the weekend, I saw this pizza pie chart. Yes, the pizza looks delicious, but the toppings are split down the middle. That makes the vote appear to be 50-50, not 58-42. Fun idea, but bad chart!
The picture was making me hungry. I didn’t want to ruin my dinner, by going out for a pizza snack, so I decided to make a better pizza pie chart in Excel.

Build a Chart in Excel 2013

First, I entered the results on a worksheet.

  • Then, I selected one of the cells in the list, and on the Ribbon, clicked the Insert tab.
  • Next, I clicked the Recommended Charts command, to see what it would suggest.

Since there were only two items in my list, the recommended chart type was Pie. The second suggestion was a column chart, and third was a bar chart.

  • I left the selection on Pie Chart, and clicked OK.

Format the Pie Chart

The default pie chart had slices in the correct size, so it showed the results better than the original pizza pie chart. But it needed some formatting, to make it look better. If nothing else, it needed a title, and those colours had to be changed to red and white!

  • So, I selected the Legend, and deleted it, then typed Favorite Pizza Types as the title.
  • To show the percentages on the chart, I clicked the Design tab on the Ribbon
  • Then I clicked Add Chart Element, Data Labels, Center


  • That added small labels, so I selected them, and made them bigger, and bold font.


Add Picture Background

I rarely use picture backgrounds on a chart, but this seemed like a good time to make an exception.

  • Using Snagit, I cropped out a square of the red pizza toppings, and a square with the white toppings.
  • I saved those squares as jpg files.
  • Next, I clicked on the pie, to select it, then clicked on the Red slice, to select it.
  • Then, so see the formatting options, click Format Data Point


  • In the Format Data Point window, click the Paint button, to see the Fill Options
  • Click Picture or Texture Fill, then click the File button


  • Select the file that has the Red topping, and click Insert

That looks better!

  • Then, repeat the steps, to select and format the White slice, using its background picture.
  • I added a black outline on the pie chart too, to make the slices stand out a bit more. Maybe I should have used thick brown borders, so it would look like pizza crust!

The Finished Chart

Here is the finished version of the chart. Now, it’s easy to see which topping most people prefer.
And if that made you hungry, I’m sorry!

  • Would you ever use picture backgrounds in a chart?
  • What would you have done to improve the pizza pie chart?


Video: Add Pictures to Pie Chart Slices

To see the steps for adding pictures to a pie chart, please watch this short video.

Or watch on YouTube: Add Pictures to Excel Pie Chart Slices