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Excel's five Pie Chart tricks

Excel has five different Pie Charts, here they all are, showing how to use each chart and tricks to make the charts look better.

Microsoft has five Excel Pie Charts though one of them is really a donut/doughnut. Find them all at Insert | Charts; 2-D and 3-D Pie charts plus the Doughnut/Donut chart.

Part of our Pi 𝜋 Day series where we broadly define 𝜋 to equal both Pi and Pie 🍰😁

The bottom link promising ‘More Pie Charts…’ is a lie!  There are no more choices from the main Chart Type box.

Pie chart with exploded segment

There’s a simple flat 2D Pie Chart.  This example includes an ‘exploded’ segment plus a callout text box.

Explode / Pull out a Pie chart segment

To pull out or ‘explode’ a single pie chart segment (slice), select the segment then right-click and choose ‘Format Data Series’.  Then change ‘Point Explosion’.

3D Pie Chart

Or there’s a 3D Pie chart which looks better.

The next two Excel Pie Charts are variations on the standard pie chart, there’s Pie of Pie and Pie of Bar.

Pie of Pie

The ‘Pie of Pie’ chart lets you ‘explode’ the lower values from the main pie to show them in another sub-pie chart.  In other words, see clearly what would otherwise be tiny slices of a pie chart.

For example, this Pie of Pie chart shows separately the people who don’t like pizza so much, the lower 10%.

Where to split the Pie Chart

Control what data appears in the second Pie chart by right-clicking on the chart and choosing ‘Format Data Series’ then change the ‘Split series by’. Choose a value or percentage threshold for what will be broken out to the second chart.

Pie of Bar

Pie of Bar chart is the same as Pie of Pie except there’s a bar chart for the lower values.

Doughnut Chart

Finally there’s a Doughnut Chart which Microsoft includes as a pie chart, probably because it’s just a Pie Chart with a whole in the middle.

We’ve made use of the hole to insert a photo of a pizza.

Change the doughnut hole size

Change the size of the center hole from Format Data Series | Series Options | Doughnut Hole Size.

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