Excel Tutorial: How To Make Chart In Excel With Percentages


Creating charts with percentages in Excel is essential for visually representing data and making it easier for the audience to understand the significance of the numbers. Whether you are presenting sales figures, survey results, or any other data, using charts with percentages can help you effectively communicate key insights. In this blog post, we'll walk you through the process of creating a chart in Excel with percentages, so you can confidently present your data in a clear and impactful way.

Key Takeaways

  • Creating charts with percentages in Excel is crucial for effectively communicating data insights.
  • Understanding the type of data best represented with percentages is important for selecting the appropriate chart type.
  • Inputting raw data into Excel and calculating percentages can be easily done to prepare for chart creation.
  • Customizing the appearance and layout of the chart, including adding axis labels and a title, enhances its effectiveness.
  • Adding data labels and legends to the chart provides clarity and improves the overall visualization experience.

Understanding Data and Selecting Chart Type

When it comes to representing data in Excel, percentages are often used to show the proportion of a whole. Whether you’re working with sales data, survey results, or financial reports, percentages can provide valuable insights into the distribution of values within a dataset.

A. Explain the type of data that is best represented with percentages

  • Proportional Data: Percentages are best used to represent proportional data, such as market share, contribution to total revenue, or the distribution of different categories within a dataset.
  • Comparison Data: Percentages can also be useful for comparing different values within a dataset, such as the percentage change in sales over time or the percentage breakdown of different customer segments.

B. Discuss the different chart types available in Excel and their suitability for percentage data

  • Pie Chart: Excel’s pie chart is an excellent choice for representing percentage data, particularly when you want to show the proportion of each category relative to the whole. This chart type is visually appealing and can effectively highlight the distribution of percentages within a dataset.
  • Stacked Column or Bar Chart: For comparing percentages across different categories or groups, a stacked column or bar chart can be a great option. This chart type allows you to see both the individual percentages and the total percentage for each category, making it easier to identify trends and variations.
  • Line Chart: When you want to visualize the percentage change over time, a line chart can be a suitable choice. This chart type allows you to see the trend in percentage values and identify any patterns or fluctuations.

Creating a Data Table

When creating a chart in Excel with percentages, it's crucial to start by inputting the raw data into Excel. Here's how you can do that:

  • A. Show how to input the raw data into Excel
  • 1. Open a new Excel workbook and enter the raw data into a new worksheet. For example, if you're creating a chart to display the percentage of sales for each product in a given period, you would input the product names in one column and the corresponding sales figures in another.

    2. Make sure to label your columns and rows clearly for easy reference when creating the chart.

    B. Explain the process of calculating the percentages from the raw data

    Once the raw data is inputted, the next step is to calculate the percentages from the raw data. Here's how you can do that:

    1. In a new column next to your raw data, use a formula to calculate the percentage for each data point. For example, if you want to calculate the percentage of sales for each product, you would divide the sales figure for each product by the total sales figure for all products and then multiply by 100 to get the percentage.

    2. Format the percentage column as a percentage in Excel to ensure it displays correctly in the chart.

Inserting a Chart

Charts are a great way to visually represent data, especially when dealing with percentages. Here's how to insert a chart in Excel based on percentages:

A. Demonstrating how to select the data table for the chart

Before inserting a chart, it's important to select the data table that you want to include in the chart. This can be done by clicking and dragging over the cells that contain the data you want to include in the chart. Be sure to include the percentages and any corresponding labels or categories.

B. Showing the steps to insert a chart based on the percentages

Once you have selected the data table, follow these steps to insert a chart based on the percentages:

  • Step 1: Click on the "Insert" tab at the top of the Excel window.
  • Step 2: In the Charts group, select the type of chart you want to create. For percentages, a pie chart or a bar chart may be most suitable.
  • Step 3: Once you select the chart type, a blank chart will be inserted into your worksheet. You can then click and drag to resize and reposition the chart as desired.
  • Step 4: With the chart selected, go to the "Design" and "Format" tabs to customize the appearance of the chart. This may include changing the colors, adding a title, or displaying data labels with percentages.

Customizing the Chart

Once you have created a chart in Excel with the percentages, you may want to customize its appearance to make it more visually appealing and easier to understand.

A. Explain how to customize the chart's appearance and layout

Excel offers a range of customization options for charts. To access these options, simply click on the chart and then select the "Chart Design" and "Format" tabs in the Excel ribbon. From there, you can adjust the chart's colors, styles, and other visual elements to better suit your needs.

1. Changing the color scheme

You can change the colors used in the chart by selecting a new color scheme from the "Chart Styles" options. This can help the chart stand out and make it easier for viewers to distinguish between different data series.

2. Adjusting the chart layout

Excel also allows you to modify the layout of the chart by adding or removing elements such as the chart title, legend, and data labels. These options can be found in the "Chart Elements" dropdown menu and can help you customize the chart to better convey your message.

B. Discuss the importance of adding axis labels and a title to the chart

Adding axis labels and a title to your chart can greatly improve its readability and clarity. These elements provide important context and information to help viewers understand the data being presented.

1. Axis labels

Axis labels provide critical information about the scale and units of the data being displayed in the chart. Without clear axis labels, viewers may struggle to interpret the chart accurately.

2. Chart title

A chart title provides a brief description of the information being presented, helping viewers quickly understand the purpose of the chart and the data it contains. A descriptive title can make the chart more meaningful and impactful.

Adding Data Labels and Legends

When creating a chart in Excel with percentages, it is important to include data labels and legends to provide clarity and context to the information being displayed.

Show how to add data labels to the chart to display the percentage values

Adding data labels to your chart is a simple yet effective way to visually represent the percentage values of the data. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Select the chart: Click on the chart to select it.
  • Enable data labels: Right-click on the data series in the chart, and then select "Add Data Labels".
  • Format data labels: Once the data labels are added, you can format them to display as percentages by right-clicking on the data labels, selecting "Format Data Labels", and then choosing the "Percentage" option.

Explain how to include a legend to provide clarity to the chart

Adding a legend to your chart is essential for providing clarity and categorizing the data being displayed. Follow these steps to include a legend in your chart:

  • Select the chart: Click on the chart to select it.
  • Add a legend: In the "Chart Tools" menu, select the "Layout" tab, and then click on "Legend". Choose the desired legend position (e.g., top, bottom, left, right) from the dropdown menu.
  • Edit legend options: You can further customize the legend by right-clicking on it and selecting "Format Legend". Here, you can adjust the font, size, and other visual aspects of the legend to suit your preferences.


In this blog post, we discussed the step-by-step process of creating a chart with percentages in Excel. We covered how to calculate percentages using formulas, and then how to present this data in a visually appealing chart. By following the key tips provided, you can enhance your data visualization skills and make your reports and presentations more effective.

We encourage you to practice creating charts with percentages in Excel to gain a better understanding and mastery of this essential skill. The more you practice, the more confident you will become in creating impactful and accurate charts to present your data.

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