Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 8, 2018)
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, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Exploded Pie Chart Sections.
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