How to Draw a Pie Chart

Updated April 17, 2017

While pie charts are most often used in mathematics, they also have a variety of different uses, such as serving as personal- or business-related progress indicators or showing the distribution range of multiple factors. Regardless of the reason you need to create a pie chart, the process of drawing one is simple. All you need are a few tools, and you'll be able to easily create a professional-looking pie chart.

Set the angles on the compass according to how big you want the circle of your pie chart to be. If you're undecided about the size of the circle, practice drawing them on scrap paper until you achieve the desired size.

Place the sharp end of the compass in the centre of your paper, as this will be the centre of the circle that will create your pie chart. Holding it in place, use the top part to pull the other point, holding the small pencil around to draw the outlining circumference of your circle.

Draw a small dot with your pencil to mark the centre of your circle after you've finished drawing it.

Determine your percentages. Each section of your pie chart will represent a part or percentage of the whole thing (100 per cent).

Create your pie chart sections according to the percentages you've determined and colour them accordingly. Using a ruler and the marked centre of your circle as your reference point, draw lines out from the centre to the edges of the pie chart to create your pie sections. You can have as many or as few as you need. Use coloured pencils or markers to colour in each section of your pie chart. Make sure each section is a different colour.

Outline your chart. Use a permanent marker, preferably one with a fine point, to outline your circle and the pie chart line sections you have drawn.

Label your sections. Depending on the purpose of your pie chart, you may choose to use words or percentages, or a combination of both. Write the words or percentages inside each individual section using a fine-tipped permanent marker, or draw lines outside of each section with a ruler and label the sections outside the circle.

Add a title. At the top of your pie chart, add a title describing what your pie chart represents. If necessary, create a key off to the side of your chart indicating what each differently coloured section stands for.


Several types of online software are available that can help you create computer-generated pie charts. This may be a preferred option if you're creating a pie chart for a project or presentation for business purposes.

Things You'll Need

  • Mathematical compass (with pencil)
  • Ruler
  • Scrap paper
  • Paper
  • Pen/fine-tipped permanent marker
  • Coloured pencils
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Aletha Reil has a bachelor's degree in English with a concentration in creative writing from Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. She has been writing for more than three years and is currently working as a women's fitness columnist for a prominent website.