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How to Make a Pie Chart in Inkscape
  • By Design Bundles
  • 16 Jul 2021
  • 16 Mins
  • Inkscape Tutorials

How to Make a Pie Chart in Inkscape

In this tutorial, discover how to make a pie chart Inkscape.

A Pie Chart is a circular graphic that shows percentages of a whole. It's a quick way to view information at a glance. It can be created as a two-dimensional or three-dimensional shape. In this tutorial we will show you how to make a Pie Chart in Inkscape.

Open Inkscape and select New document to open a new blank page.

Create a basic pie chart

In the first part of the tutorial we will be creating a two-dimensional Pie Chart. The Bezier Tool will be used to draw out guidelines to find the center of the circle. We have a great tutorial on how to use the Bezier Curve Tool in Inkcape.

Step 1 - Create guidelines with the Bezier tool

Click on Create circles, ellipses and arcs tool on the left side panel. Press Ctrl and Click + drag out a circle. At the bottom of the screen is your color palette where you can choose a fill color.

Next, click on the tool, Draw Bezier curves and straight lines. Click anywhere on the page and Ctrl + click and drag your mouse to create a straight line. Double click to release the curve. Press Ctrl + D to duplicate.

Draw out circle Inkscape

Click once on the Rotate selection button at the top. The duplicate will be rotated 90°. Select both curve lines, right click and choose Group.

Click on the Object menu and select Align and Distribute. It will open on the right side. Select all of the objects, including the circle and click Center on Vertical Axis then click Center on Horizontal Axis.

Center all objects Inkscape

Step 2 - Create rectangles

To cut out the portions we will need to draw out a rectangle and make two duplicates. On the left side click on Create rectangles and squares. Click + drag out a thin rectangle. The thickness depends on the spacing you want between portions.

Add a fill and position the rectangle over one of the guidelines. Use your arrow keys if you have difficulty placing the rectangle.

On the top right panel is the Snapping Tool. Click to activate. Double click the rectangle so that the crosshair appears in the middle. Click and drag it down to the bottom of the rectangle. Since the Snapping Tool is active the crosshair should snap to the middle bottom. We now how have our rotation point.

Add a rectangle Inkscape

Press Ctrl + D twice to duplicate the rectangle.

Step 3 - Rotate rectangles

For this Pie Chart we will have three portions. To rotate accurately the Transform Tool will be used. Click on Object, Transform and then Rotate. Click on the menu next to Angle and change it to the Degree symbol.

A Pie Chart calculator on Google can help to get the correct angles. The angles for this chart are 120°, 24° and 216°. Select the top rectangle and under the Transform panel type in 120° next to Angle. Click Apply.

Use Transform Tool Inkscape

Repeat this for the other two rectangles using the varied degrees. The two guidelines can be deleted as they are no longer needed.

Repeat rotation on all rectangles

Step 4 - Cut out portions for Pie Chart

Shift + click on each rectangle to select. Click on the Path menu at the top and select Union. Click + drag a selection box around the combined rectangles and circle. Again click on Path and choose Difference.

Use Difference Tool Inkscape

In the next section of the tutorial you will use this basic Pie Chart to make it three-dimensional.

Create a three-dimensional Pie Chart

With the basics done we are going to give the Pie Chart an upgrade. A three-dimensional look makes the chart appear more eye catching. The Pie Chart color can be changed using the Color Palette at the bottom of the screen.

Something to note is that we will be creating an illusion of objects being filled. To make the portions solid would take time. So this is more suited for JPEG and PNG images than SVG files.

Step 1 - Distort Pie Chart with rotational handles

Click on Create Rectangles and Squares on the left side panel. Press Ctrl and Click + drag a square out. On the corners are rounded circles. Click and drag down to round off the corners.

Create rounded corners rectangle

Fill with a color then at the top click Lower selection to bottom. The square is move behind the Pie Chart.

Lower selection to bottom

Select both and use the Align and Distribute panel to center. Click the rectangle twice to activate the rotation handles. Then Ctrl and Click + Drag the top left rotation handle to the right until the rectangle resembles the image below.

Activate rotation handles Inkscape

Drag a selection box around all objects then Click + drag the bottom middle handle up.

Adjust rotational handle Inkscape

Step 2 - Use the Bezier Curve Tool

The Pie Chart portions need to be separated to change the color. Click on the Pie Chart, go to the Path menu and click on Break Apart. The Pie Chart is now three individual parts. With these parts still selected, right click and Duplicate. Ctrl and Click + drag the duplicates up.

Reposition duplicate layers

Fill portions using the color palette. Use darker shades for the bottom portions. Select all of the pie portions and Shift + Click on the X symbol to remove the stroke.

Fill Pie Chart with color

Now, this is where it gets a bit tricky. We need to 'close' the gaps to give the appearance of a full object.

The result depends on how your portions are placed. Let us start with the green portions.

Click on the Bezier Tool and be sure that the Snapping Guide on the right is selected. Also click on Snap to paths to activate.

Starting at the bottom, click and drag with the Bezier Tool to place nodes.

When you reach the rounded area, place a node where you think the fill would be.

Keep placing nodes between the bottom and top portions. When you return to the first node click to place and close path.

As you can see in the image below, nodes were attached to the bottom and the top portions in a single curve.

Create path Bezier Tool

Click the new path and Shift+ Click on the dark green portion at the bottom. Click on the Path menu and select Union.

Combine objects Union Tool

Repeat this for the remaining portions.

Add remaining Bezier curves

You most likely will have a result where it appears as if the Union option didn't work. But not to worry, you just need to change the arrangement of the layers. In the example below the dark red portion was hidden behind the green portions. It needed to be moved up about two spaces. Once selected, click Raise selection one step at the top. Click this again if needed.

Raise selection one step

Step 3 - Adjust height of Pie Chart portions

Changing the height of the Pie Chart portions adds to the impact of the three-dimensional chart. Start with the largest portion, in this case the green portions. Select both then click on the Edit path by nodes Tool on the left side panel. Drag a selection box around the top nodes. Hold Ctrl and Click + drag the nodes up.

Adjust pie chart portions

Repeat this for all the portions, adjusting height accordingly.

Change pie chart height

Step 4 - Edit the base of the Pie Chart

The base of the Pie Chart is created in the same way. Change the color if needed then right click and select Duplicate. Change the color of the duplicate to a darker shade. Use your arrow keys to shift the duplicate down just below the lighter colored base. Next, at the top of the screen click Lower selection to bottom.

Create Pie Chart base Inkscape

Using the Bezier Tool, draw a curve on the one corner. Click the Path menu then select Union. Repeat for the other side.

Completed Pie chart base

Add text and Bezier curve lines to complete the image. Experiment with colors to see what works best.

Pie Chart in Inkscape

If you liked this tutorial make sure to check out some of our other Inkscape tutorials like how to convert jpg to svg, how to warp text to to shape of object, and how to type vertically.

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