Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Pie Charts Make Horrible Time Comparisons
Pie Charts Make Horrible Time Comparisons
A pie chart is ideal for showing how components that add up to 100% are broken out. It
is difficult to compare a series of pie charts to detect changes from one pie to the next. As
you can see in the charts in Figure 3.4, it is difficult for the reader’s eye to compare the pie
wedges from year to year. Did market share increase in 2008? Rather than using a series of
pie charts to show changes over time, use a 100 percent stacked column chart instead.
Figure 3.4
It is difficult to compare
one pie chart to the next.
3
100 Percent Stacked Bar Chart Instead of Pie Charts
In Figure 3.5, the same data from Figure 3.4 is plotted as a 100 percent stacked bar chart.
Series lines guide the reader’s eye from the market share from each year to the next year.
The stacked bar chart is a much easier chart to read than the series of pie charts.
Figure 3.5
The same data presented
in Figure 3.4 is easier to
read in a 100 percent
stacked bar chart.
Understanding Date-Based Axis Versus Category-Based Axis in
Trend Charts
Excel offers two types of horizontal axes in a trend chart. Having the proper setting can
ensure that your message is accurate.
If the spacing of events along the time axis is uniform, it does not matter whether you
choose a date-based axis or a text-based axis because the results will be the same. When this
occurs, it is fine to allow Excel to choose the type of axis automatically.
 
 
 
 
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