Pie Chart in Figma

Hey everybody welcome back to the new article. Today's article is going to be another in my Figma article series. Over the next few Figma articles, I'm gonna be taking a deeper look at some of the tools inside of Figma. Some things about these tools that you might not know, just little settings and quirks about the tools and individual tools inside of Figma. 

That even if you use this day to day, you just may not be aware of it. 

First up, we're gonna be taking a look at the ellipse tool and more importantly, the arc functionality of the ellipse tool inside of Figma. Let's get into it. [funk music] Right, so here inside of Figma, and again with the bright, bright light on my face. I can't complain about that enough. Figma please, it's almost Christmas time. Can you deliver on one of your next feature releases, a true dark mode for Figma. 

I would just be so happy. Here's your tools inside of Figma. So up here you have all of these kinds of quick access tools, things like the type tool, the pen tool. And then this menu is the different shapes that you have inside of Figma. 

So of course you can draw your own shapes with the pen tool. If you please, or some of these more basic ones. You can just select from up here. So if I select ellipse and I draw it and here we go. We have a circle. The way I like to think about it is an oval. 

That helps me remember the keyboard shortcut is O for oval or circle, I think C is already taken up for something else. I'm not thinking about it right now, but yeah. 

So it's O for oval. Now pro-tip basically with any design program out there, and this goes across all the different shapes really, all the different things inside of Figma is something you may not know is if you hold shift it creates a proportional drag. 

So you can't go outside of the bounds of this circle to make it flat or misshapen. If you do not hold shift, then you're able to size this shape however you want. So again, not specific to learning about the ellipse tool today, but this is just something that you can use in basically any design program. Okay, so getting to the circular shape. So this is what I found which kind of made me think about creating some of these articles in the first place around Figma and these shape tools and just different tools inside, is I've used Figma now for quite a while. And I don't think I recall seeing this little, little nodule right here. Which allows you to do this. It's the arc tool inside of the ellipse tool. And it allows you to create pie charts.

And this is something as a designer, UX designer, you're definitely gonna be creating some of these infographics and making data graphs and things like that to show off on a presentation. And over the years to this date, I've basically been either manually creating this inside of illustrator with the Pathfinder tool, or I have been downloading something from iStock, or one of the other stock photo, stock vector websites and just downloading a pie chart library. That was great, but it was always the same pie chart library where you had to pay for it. 

So being able to do this inside of Figma, now you can just do it with the drag of a little, little circle here is pretty amazing. And just a quick example here of some of the pie charts I've downloaded over the years. 

Here's one that I just recently downloaded for a project that I was building out some variations of pie inside of Figma for this dashboard design that I was doing. So we purchased this and it gives a pretty good variety of sizes in here, but what happens if I want one that is divided six ways or seven or eight ways. 

It doesn't provide that. And you think it would be easy enough inside of illustrator or something like that to modify these and make them the right size. But you just run into weird issues. There's a lot of times where you want to move this shape and you think you could just grip the edge of it. And you could move it. But then like it creates this bump because of the way that the tools work. And you have to smooth that out. 

Make sure it's a perfect circle. And you're just sitting here working with it. Trying to get it just right. That's a quick example, but you could imagine trying to create something with like 15 sliders in it. How long that would take you and you can get around it by duplicating some things and using some tricks inside the illustrator. But it's just not easy at all. 

So allowing us to build it inside of Figma is huge and we can build this type of thing. This was one that I downloaded not too long ago too for another project where I like this one that goes around the outside of it and the circle that goes on the inside. And again, we have quite a few variations here at different percentages.

But if we wanted to do a 17%, we would have to manually create that. And we run into the same issues we just saw an illustrator with creating weird bumps and bubbles in the vector tools. And it just never works like you think it will. However, now inside of Figma.

Oh, do this type of thing. So we can create that. Paste another one. Could do layered ones. Like some of the other examples. Do something like that. You could do almost like an Apple Watch ring thing. So you could see that now I've just built this very quickly.

And before I would have either had to find a perfect variation on iStockphoto.com or manually went into illustrating and created something like this with a pathfinder tool or something of that nature. Which also just takes extra time.

And as designers, really in any career, but especially as designers. We're trying to be as efficient as possible. Save time where we can and cut a lot of this extra little fiddling with things that probably no one in the world is going to notice but us, and it just wastes time.

So this helps us speed up our process and create quicker shapes and pie charts and cool infographics like this. And last few tips here. And these aren't really tips, just a call out to make sure that you understand how these things work. Some of you watching these articles may be students, or just getting into the field. And not aware of these things, or again you could just be someone that's got years of experience and just never notice this stuff.

As you're creating these shapes as well. You do have access to all of this stuff up here as well. So you're able to change sizes here. You're able to change different components of these circles. So like if I just wanted this one to be 25%, it's a quicker way than dragging the grabber around to try to get it perfect. So you can just put that up there in the contextual panel.

This also allows you to just change a couple of different things. Like if you wanted to change the location, you can be more exact with the settings up here about exactly where you want this to be. And lastly, here you can also, as with most everything else, include a corner radius inside of Figma.

So if I wanted to make this rounded edge. Make these all rounded edges, let's make them a 50. Just softens your pie chart here. Your infographic again, makes it look a little more like that, Apple watch version. But you've seen these used throughout the web I'm sure.

And other print materials. Just to make it look a little softer and fit the design aesthetic a little better. So don't forget about your additional settings up here as well. Make sure that you learn your keyboard shortcut for ellipse, which is O.

And you're on your way to using the ellipse tool more effectively inside of Figma. Thanks for joining me on another article in my Figma tutorial series. Hopefully, you got some value out of this, whether you're an older designer who's been in the field for quite a long time and not have known about some of these small little things or you're just starting off in your learning journey in the UX or UI field.

Hopefully, this helps you out. So if it did, do me a favor and hit the like button that lets me know that you appreciate the content I'm creating here on the channel. As well as hit the subscribe button and the bell. If you want to be notified of future articles in the figment tutorial series, as well as all the other articles that I've put out here on the channel. Thanks again for joining me. Thanks for your time. And I'll see you on the next article.