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Add a pie chart to a Word document without opening Excel

You can bypass Excel and insert a pie chart into a Word document, from inside Word. Susan Harkins explains.

You can easily add a chart to a Word document, without first creating the chart in Excel. That's right, you don't have to be familiar with Excel to display a decent chart in a Word document-and it's easy!

First, position the cursor where you want to insert the chart. Most likely, that will be before or after a paragraph that discusses the information expressed by the chart. Then, you're ready to create the chart, as follows:

  1. Click the Insert tab and then click the Chart option in the Illustrations group. In Word 2003, choose Picture from the Insert menu and then select Chart.
  2. In the Insert Chart dialog, choose Pie in the left pane. (In Word 2003, you'll select a chart type after inserting the chart into the document. Right-click the chart and choose Chart Type to access the different types. Skip to step 5.)
  3. Choose one of the pie charts to the right (we'll use the first).
  4. Click OK and Word will launch an Excel sheet with sample data.
  5. Insert new labels and values in the Excel sheet and watch the chart in the Word document update accordingly. Be sure to resize the data range as instructed.
  6. When you're done entering the labels and values, close the Excel sheet. You can save it if you like, but you don't have to.

With the chart in Word, you can format it. For instance, you can remove the border or change its style or shade the background. Right-click the chart's background and choose Format Chart Area from the resulting shortcut menu. To format the series, right-click the chart and choose Format Data Series. If the legend displays an empty series, you probably didn't resize the data range (step 5). Simply click the empty element and press Delete to get rid of it.

Although we created a pie chart, you can insert any number of chart types.


Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.


i'm having a problem creating a pie chart on my microsoft word 2010, i want to create a pie chart where i have 70% and 30% and on that 30%, i want also to create a 70% and 30% of the original 30%. can somebody help me?


I am partially color blind and similar colors are nearly indistinguishable, and I cannot find a way to change colors used in the chart. Especially the legend, The little color blocks are so smalI I can't tell which color corresponds to which "pie" section. I am using a bar chart in Excel for my data, I wanted to see what it would look like in a pie chart, looks good, but some data is missing as my data has more than two columns, so a bar chart is more useable. Interesting how Excel is launched with a sample file to get the process going.

C. Blaise Mitsutama
C. Blaise Mitsutama

The easiest way to change colors in an Excel chart is to change the Theme colors. In Excel, with the chart displayed in the middle or far right side of a worksheet, select the Page Layout tab. Select the Colors dropdown menu in the Themes Group (far left Group on the Ribbon). Scroll down the list of color sets. You should see the colors change in the chart and legend. Select a color set that works for you. Because the Theme color sets were developed by professional designers, any color set you choose should provide a coordinated visual effect. Please be aware that changing the Theme colors will change color options throughout Excel. For example, on the Home Tab, Font Group, the Fill Color choices will now reflect the new Theme colors. If none of the installed color sets work for you, you can also create your own Theme colors. On the Page Layout Tab, Themes Group, at the very bottom of the Colors dropdown is an option to Create New Theme Colors, First, select a color set that is close to what you want. Next, click the Create New Theme Colors link. Modify the Theme colors to suit your needs and give your new color set a name.


thanks for the response.