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VolunteerToday.com ~~ The Electronic Gazette for Volunteerism

with Michael Lee Stills

Learn tips and hints to use a variety of electronic and technical equipment to enhance work with volunteers.

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~June 2003~ Topics

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Creating a Simple Excel Pie Chart

Would you like a simple graphical representation of what your volunteer program has accomplished in your annual report? Microsoft Excel can create simple pie charts. However, if you have never done this before it can be a bit confusing.

For example, let’s say you are the volunteer coordinator for Vol-World. You have four volunteer opportunities and you have recorded the total number of hours in your program. You would first create the worksheet below in Excel.

Miracle Vols
Super Duper Interns
Blue Moon Volunteers

In the worksheet above, you need to know how each group of data is defined in order to create a pie chart.

  • Series = Hours and the Program that they correspond to. Thus, Insta-Vols and 300 is the first in the series and Miracle Vols is the second in the series, and so on. In this worksheet, the series is represented in Rows.
  • Data Range = All the hours and names of the programs, or all four series. This does not include the names of the top rows, i.e Vol-World, Program and Hours.
  • Name = Vol-World
  • Values = the data under Hours = 300, 400, 200, 100
  • Labels = the data under Program = Insta-Vols, Miracle Vols, Super Duper Interns, Blue Moon Volunteers

To create a pie chart from the worksheet you just created, perform the following steps:

  1. Click on the Chart Wizard button in the menu bar. (It’s the one that looks like a bar graph.)
  2. Click on Pie Chart.
  3. Make sure the first picture of a pie chart is highlighted and click the Next button at the bottom of the window.
  4. At the Chart Source window, click on the Series tab at the top.
  5. At the Series tab, enter the following in their corresponding fields. Make sure you have placed your cursor in the correct field windows and deleted whatever is there by default. You will be replacing that information with the correct information. Do not hit Enter after each entry; instead tab to each field or just place your cursor in the next field window.
    Name: Highlight the cell that contains Vol-World.
    Values: Highlight the column with the data for the hours (300, 400, 200, 100).
    Category Labels: Highlight the column with the data for the names of the programs (Insta-Vols, Miracle Vols, Super Duper Interns, Blue Moon Volunteers).
  6. Click the Next button.
  7. Click the Data Labels tab.
  8. At the Data Labels tab, click the Show Labels and Percent circle.
  9. Click Next > Finished.
  10. Copy and Paste the new pie chart into your Word documents.

Pie Chart Image

With a little experimentation you can change the size, labels, and other information to better represent what you want others to know about your program.

Mosaic Right Arrow Image This may take some time on your part to figure out exactly how and what information you want in your charts. Mosaic Left Arrow Image
But you do like learning how to use your tools, don't you?

Quick Tip: Recently Used Documents

Tired of searching for a document that you regular use in Microsoft Word or Excel? When you open one of these programs you can chose File from the menu bar and a list of file names will appear at the bottom of the drop down window. If you don't see as many recently used documents listed as you would like (or you don't see any at all), try changing your Most Recently Used File List setting.

To do this, in either Word or Excel (you'll have to set them each up separately):

  1. Go to Tools > Options> General tab
  2. Click the box for Recently Used File List
  3. Enter a number from 1 to 9
  4. Click OK to accept the changes.

I have mine set at 9 documents.

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Do you know of a better way? Or do you have any questions?
Drop me a note at Michael@MichaelStills.com

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