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Excel 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Advanced Charting

At this point, you've seen a wide range of tips and tricks for improving almost any Excel chart. But it's worth learning a few advanced charting techniques. Most of these work only with specific chart types, like exploding pie slices and overlaying bar charts. You'll also learn about one of the most interesting chart tricks known to Excel-kind: using a combination chart to fuse together two different chart types into one object.

Exploding Slices in a Pie

Data labeling and formatting help make individual slices of a pie chart stand out. However, to really accentuate important information in a pie or donut chart, you can separate a piece from the rest of the pie by exploding the slice (to use the rather dramatic technical term). You've already seen this feature at work with the pie or donut chart subtypes that explode all the pieces. This technique shows you how to explode just a single slice, as shown in Figure 18-28.

This example shows a pie with one exploded piece, representing the sales in the Eastern division.

Figure 18-28. This example shows a pie with one exploded piece, representing the sales in the Eastern division.

To explode only one slice of a pie chart, just click the slice, and then drag it away from the pie. You can pull it as far away as you want, and you can repeat this process to explode several pieces (although the emphasis works best when you remove just a single slice). Be careful that you don't select the whole data series before you start dragging, ...

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