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Differentiate pie slices with Excel's Bar Of Pie chart option

Too many tiny slices? One way to make your Excel chart more coherent is to use the Bar Of Pie chart option. The bar of pie chart displays the tiny pie slices into a horizontal bar chart so they are easier to see and label.

If you've ever tried to label an Excel pie chart where most of the chart featured two huge slices, you may have found that the rest of the slices were squeezed into such a small part of the pie that you could hardly see them. One way to make your chart more coherent is to use the Bar Of Pie chart option. The bar of pie chart displays the tiny pie slices in a horizontal bar chart so they are easier to see and label.

Learn how to use the Bar Of Pie chart option by following these steps:

  1. In A1, type Customer 1.
  2. In A2, type Customer 2.
  3. In A3, type Customer 3.
  4. In A4, type Customer 4.
  5. In A5, type Customer 5.
  6. In B1, enter 100.
  7. In B2, enter 10.
  8. In B3, enter 12.
  9. In B4, enter 20.
  10. In B5, enter 200.
  11. Select A1:B5.
  12. Click the Chart Wizard button.
  13. Select Pie under Chart Type.
  14. Click Bar Of Pie (it is the last option in the second row).
  15. Click Next twice.
  16. Click the Legend tab.
  17. Clear the Show Legend check box.
  18. Click Next and then click Finish.
  19. Right-click the chart.
  20. Select Format Data Series.
  21. Click the Options tab.
  22. Select Value From Split Series By drop-down list.
  23. Enter 50 in the Second Plot Contains All Values Less Than box.
  24. Click the Data Labels tab.
  25. Click the Category Name check box.
  26. Clear the Series Name check box, if necessary.
  27. Click the Percentage check box, then click OK.
  28. Right-click a data label in the chart.
  29. Select Format Data Labels.
  30. Click the Font tab and change the font size to 8, then click OK.

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13 comments
gerila_7
gerila_7

Say, we got a table 'A' and Category 4 is one of the categories in table A. We want to emphasise on the chart, Table B, which is items of Category 4, where as we don't care as much to the items of category 1-3. Table A Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Category 4 -> Table B Item1 Item2 Item3 Is it possible to do it from 2 Data series?... My current solution right now is like this, put it one table with category 4 straight away broken down to item 1 to 3 Table A Category 1 Category 2 Category 3 Item1 Item2 Item3

clutterbug
clutterbug

worked great - shame on me for not knowing that option was there - thanks for the info on the decimals also - never too old to learn

Marshwiggle
Marshwiggle

Thanks. I work w/ Excel a lot, but charts very little, and articles like this help keep me from getting too rusty. However, I second holmescd re: always naming the version. I haven't seen any need to upgrade Office since 2K, and was thrown off a bit when I couldn't find the check boxes in 25 - 26, but the rest of the steps worked fine.

spof245
spof245

Would be nice to see image of examples to help understand each tip.

ljachill
ljachill

This works really well. The only comment is that the percentages don't add up to 100% unless you show 2 decimal places -- shows "other" equals 12%, but 6, 4 and 3 add up to 13. I like this pie chart. Thanks for the information.

helmma
helmma

If you want the total of the pie slices to equal 100%, format the percentage numbers to 2 decimals.

townsendsebay
townsendsebay

started the operation and could not find the chart wizard on a standard Offcie 2007 install checked the help but no mention of chart wizard checked google and all reference is to Excell 2003 wazzup

Poodoo999
Poodoo999

I agree, it would be a tremendous help for us visually-oriented folks if step-by-step graphics were supplied as well. Even just a picture of the end product would be a significant help. And yes, also please specify what version the tip applies to, or provide alternate steps as you go.

Harry Hardin
Harry Hardin

same as previous message could not find chart wizard.

wittmav
wittmav

In Office 2007, use the ribbon to INSERT > Pie Chart. Go from there.

jpglasgow1
jpglasgow1

Agree that a picture of the finished product would be good, but equally an already completed example excel file which could be downloaded would suffice, in fact it may be better as we would then know which version of Excel was used to crete it...good tip anyway thanks.

holmescd
holmescd

This is a great procedure for Excel 2003- I love it! How about a procedure for doing it in Excel 2007 as well? I tried it in both versions and it works really slick in 2003 but I don't know how to get to where I change the legend settings and other things in 2007 yet. A step-by-step for that version would be really nice. Actually, a great idea would be to advise right up front what version of Office your tips are for. Can that be made the norm, please? Thanks!

holmescd
holmescd

I just realized that the ribbon changes when you select the chart. So from there just select the layout you want (in this case the percentage layout), then right click the data values, select Format Data Series, and the rest is history (or at least, the same as in the 2003 instructions). Piece of cake... I mean, pie! :)