Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Negatives in Pie Charts.

# Negatives in Pie Charts

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated March 19, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021

Excel allows you to easily create charts based on the data in a worksheet. If you create a pie chart, Excel charts negative values as if they were positive (in other words, it uses the absolute value). You may, however, prefer to have the negative values charted as if they were zero—to not have a slice of the pie.

Normally, people create pie charts based on a simple set of values. Each value within the series represents a portion of the whole. Thus, pie charts are often created based on the result of some sort of formula, such as the sum of values in a column; the sums of each column are the basis for the pie chart. Instead of using a standard SUM formula for the values to be charted, you could use a formula such as the following:

```=IF(SUM(D7:D11)<0,0,SUM(D7:D11))
```

In this case, the value to be charted is set to zero if the sum is less than zero, or it reflects the actual total if the sum is zero or above.

If your data is conducive to filtering, you could also set up a filter so that negative values are filtered out. This will cause those values to be ignored in the chart created by Excel.

Of course, all this being said, one would have to wonder if a pie chart is the appropriate chart for representing this type of data in the first place. After all, pie charts represent portions of a whole—yet by filtering or adjusting totals, portions of the whole are being removed. Granted, they are negative portions, but they are portions nonetheless.

Pie charts, by their nature, are not well-suited for displaying negative numbers. If negative numbers are expected, then column or bar charts are a much more appropriate choice. Why? Because they can represent data that falls to the left of or below a baseline—as is appropriate for negative numbers.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10401) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Negatives in Pie Charts.

##### 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. ...

##### MORE FROM ALLEN

Headers and footers add a nice touch to your documents, particularly if they are printed. You may want Word to use a ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of 8-Bit ASCII Characters

When working with data created outside of Excel, you may need to check that data to make sure it contains no unwanted ...

Discover More

Tracking Changes to Templates

Wouldn't it be great to be able to track what changes are made to a template, over time? Unfortunately, Word doesn't ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

##### More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Easily Changing Chart Data Ranges

Want a handy way to make the data ranges for your chart more dynamic? Here are some great ideas you can put to work right ...

Discover More

Outside End Data Label for a Column Chart

It can be frustrating when Excel doesn't display the formatting options that you know it should for your charts. This tip ...

Discover More

Changing Chart Location

Charts can either be embedded in a worksheet or take up an entire sheet by themselves. Changing from one type of chart to ...

Discover More
##### Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. Youâ€™ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 3 + 4?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your commentâ€”just use the simple form above!)

##### This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.