Excel charts: pie charts

This webpage, written by Jorge Camoes for ExcelCharts, provides an outline of the arguments for and against using pie charts and then goes on to provide detailed advice and some dos and don'ts for using them. Using a range a clear examples the page describes how you can 'rescue' the pie chart. 


"Pie Chart Takeaways

  • Humans are unable to compare angles and that’s the main scientific reason why you should not use pie charts;
  • I have a much more down-to-earth reason: they dumb down your message and they take up too much space for the value it provides;
  • If you want to make a pie chart please follow these rules:
  • Avoid 3D effects;
  • Avoid exploded slices;
  • Don’t compare pie charts;
  • Label the slices;
  • Group slices into meaningful chunks;
  • Use a color for each group and a shade for each slice;
  • Sort slices within each chunk;
  • Mute (gray-out) slices below a predefined threshold (1% or 2%)"


  • What is a pie chart?
  • Criticism
  • What Experts Say
  • Rescuing Pie Charts
  • Pie charts Do’s and Don’t’s
  • Pie Chart Takeaways


Camoes, J., (2014). Pie charts, Excel charts. Retrieved from: http://www.excelcharts.com/blog/data-visualization-excel-users/excel-charts-pie-charts/

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