Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Exploded Pie Chart Sections.

Exploded Pie Chart Sections

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 19, 2017)

3

Gloria asked if there was a way, in a 3-D pie chart, to "explode" groups of slices, instead of individual slices. When you pick an exploded pie chart as your chart type, all the slices of the pie are "pushed back," away from the center of the pie. Gloria was looking for a way to have different slices grouped together in the view.

There is no way to group individual slices of the pie prior to exploding, nor does Excel provide a way to push selected slices together. The only approach that we could make work is to make a chart for every grouping in your original data. Each chart is based on the entire original data table, but you set the colors for the group to be represented by the particular chart, and then make the other groups "invisible" by turning off their borders and colors.

Thus, if you have five slices in your pie chart, you would make five charts (one for each slice) that start out exactly the same. You format each chart, individually, so that each of them leaves only a single slice visible. You can then overlay the five charts to get the desired effect.

This approach obviously would require some experimentation to get exactly the right look, but it is a great approach if the data that underlies the table will change periodically.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (8642) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Exploded Pie Chart Sections.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is seven minus 2?

2016-06-22 07:43:36

susannaius

Thanks a lot, excellent tip. It's strange there is no way to explode multiple slices together, but I'm glad there is a simple workaround.


2014-06-10 01:46:07

Adella Gado

Hello ExcelTips:

Am very grateful to have found your site, your tips are very useful and leading.

I would like to suggest, if possible to incorporate visuals on your tips, though, some are present but if you can possibly boost them with more, especially on steps using different functionalities from other steps. Visuals can support your narrative and make it more user-friendly.

Thanks a lot and More Power!


2013-07-10 04:36:10

James Cameron

A simpler, but less aesthetically pleasing, approach is:

1. Order your data so that the items that you want to group together are next to each other.

2. Create your exploded pie chart as normal.

3. Select the first slice that you want to part of your group so that it is the only slice selected. This usually requires two or three clicks, depending on click speed.

4. Slide that slice towards the centre of the pie chart. The slice will stop moving when you get to the centre.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each of the other slices that you want to group.

This method has the disadvantage that it tends to draw attention to the non-grouped parts of the chart, as they are the exploded segments. It is also difficult (?impossible) to get the spacing between the exploded slices to look even. However, it only takes a few seconds to do.


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