Thursday, May 12, 2022

Pie charts in Power View [MS]

Important: In Excel for Microsoft 365 and Excel 2021, Power View is removed on October 12, 2021. As an alternative, you can use the interactive visual experience provided by Power BI Desktop, which you can download for free. You can also easily Import Excel workbooks into Power BI Desktop

Pie charts are simple or sophisticated in Power View. You can make a pie chart that drills down when you double-click a slice, or a pie chart that shows sub-slices within the larger color slices. You can cross-filter a pie chart with another chart. Say you click a bar in a bar chart. The part of the pie chart that applies to that bar is highlighted, and the rest of the pie is grayed.

Power View pie chart of sales by continent with 2007 data selected

Create a pie chart

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  1. Create a table with a category field and a field with aggregated numbers – for example, Continent and SalesAmount.

Tip: For the category, fields with eight or fewer values work better. See Tips for good pie charts.

  1. On the Design tab > Other Chart > Pie.

  2. Power View creates a pie chart with the legend on the right.

In the lower half of the Field List, the category field is in the Color box and the aggregate is in the Size box.


  • You can't copy pie charts from a Power View sheet in Excel to a regular Excel worksheet. 

  • Power View pie charts don't currently have data labels, so that option is grayed out on the ribbon.

Add slices to a pie chart

You can add another category field to get slices within the colors, as in the above example.

  • Drag a category field to the Slices box.

Create a drill-down pie chart

  1. Drag another category field to the Color box, under the field that's already in that box.

The pie chart looks unchanged.

  1. Double-click one of the pie colors.

  2. The colors of the pie chart now show the percentages of the second field, filtered for the pie color you double-clicked.

  3. To go back up, click the arrow in the upper corner of the pie chart, next to the filter icon.

Drill up arrow in Power View chart visualizations

Read more about drill-down visualizations in Power View.

Tips for good pie charts

Pie charts are most usable when they have:

  • Fewer than eight colors.

  • Fewer than eight slices in each color.

Pie charts are good at providing approximate values in relation to other values. Because they don't provide the side-by-side comparison of bar and column charts, it's harder to compare values precisely.

They always show values as a percentage of the whole – the whole pie is 100%, so every color is a percentage of that.

See Also

Charts and other visualizations in Power View

Power View and Power Pivot videos

Tutorial: PivotTable data analysis using a Data Model in Excel 2013

Power View: Explore, visualize, and present your data

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