What is a Bar of Pie Chart I hear you say!!  This type of chart is perfect if some of the data in your pie chart is much smaller than others and is such a small segment of the overall data that it barely shows up.  The smallest figures can be shown on a separate column chart related to the pie chart.  A pie of pie chart works in a similar way but rather than the smallest figures showing as a column chart they show in as second pie chart instead.  In my opinion this should really be called a Column of Pie Chart!!!

Standard Pie Chart

Below is an example of a standard pie chart of the data shown.  At first glance it looks great but the Publisher and Visio figures are so small they cannot be seen at all.

Pie chart

Bar of Pie Chart

We are going to show this instead on a Bar of Pie Chart with the Publisher and Visio data shown on the bar chart with the rest of the data still showing on the pie chart.

  1. We firstly need to change the chart type to a Bar of Pie chart
  2. Click on the pie chart already created
  3. Click on the Chart Design tab and the Change Chart Type icon
Change chart type

4. Choose Pie on the left and the 4th option at the top (Bar of Pie) and click OK

Bar of pie chart

5. The result has not quite worked.  The last 3 entries in the list have been pushed into the column chart and because the Word figure is so much higher than those of Publisher and Visio these are still too small to be seen.

Data with bar of pie chart

6. There are 2 alternatives to solve the problem.

a. The data could be sorted by courses sold in descending order and the last 2 figures only shown in the column chart

b. The data could be left unsorted and any figures below a certain number get shown in the column chart

7. For both these solutions the chart formatting needs to be altered

8. Click on one of the pie chart segments.  All segments of the pie chart should automatically become selected

9. Right click on one of the segments and choose Format Data Series.  A Format Data Series pane will appear on the right of the screen

Format data series

10. If necessary, click on the Series Options button near the top of the pane

Series options

11. The data is currently split by position with 3 values in the second plot.

Series split by position

a. Alternative ‘a’ above only requires the values in the second plot to be altered to 2 if the data has already been sorted into Courses Sold order

b. Alternative ‘b’ needs the split series to be by Value and the values in the second plot now changes to Values less than and could be changed to 10 (or similar)

Series split by value

12. In both cases the column chart now shows the relative sizes of these 2 small figures much more effectively.

Final bar of pie chart

NOTE: It is a good idea to add data labels to the chart to make it easier to understand the relative size of the data.

NOTE: If you want to see a pie chart to the side instead of a column chart then change the chart type to Pie of Pie.

NOTE:  This principle can be used for charts in Excel, Word or PowerPoint.

Further Reading

If you’ve enjoyed reading creating a Bar of Pie Chart, there are some other blogs below that you might find useful:

Want to learn more about Microsoft? Then email lara@laramellortraining.co.uk to discuss how I can help or have a look at the Microsoft and IT Courses I run.

Specifically here are links to:

Microsoft Excel Courses

Microsoft PowerPoint Courses

Microsoft Word Courses