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Choosing the Right Graph - Excel Graphs and their Uses

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Excel Pie Charts
Excel Pie Chart

Excel Pie Chart

� Ted French

Excel Pie Charts

Pie charts, or circle graphs as they are sometimes known, are a little different from the other three types of graphs discussed.

For one, pie charts do not use horizontal and vertical axes to plot points like the others. They also differ in that they are used to chart only one variable at a time. As a result, it can only be used to show percentages.

The circle of pie charts represents 100%. The circle is subdivided into slices representing data values. The size of each slice shows what part of the 100% it represents.

Pie charts can be used anytime you want to show what percent a particular item represents of a data series such as:

  • A baseball player's batting average can be shown with a pie chart as it represents the percentage of hits when compared to his total number of at bats for a season.

  • A company's profits for each month can be shown with a pie chart as a percentage of the year's total profits.

For more information, read the Excel Pie Chart Tutorial

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This article is one of the "stops" on the Virtual Amazing Race, a lesson plan suitable for grades 5 and up. Students gather research in a webquest of around-the-world topics and (optionally) create a Web site Using PowerPoint.

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