Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Negatives in Pie Charts.

Negatives in Pie Charts

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 23, 2016)

1

Excel allows you to easily create charts based on the data in a worksheet. If you create a pie chart, Excel charts negative values as if they were positive (in other words, it uses the absolute value). You may, however, prefer to have the negative values charted as if they were zero—to not have a slice of the pie.

Normally, people create pie charts based on a simple set of values. Each value within the series represents a portion of the whole. Thus, pie charts are often created based on the result of some sort of formula, such as the sum of values in a column; the sums of each column are the basis for the pie chart. Instead of using a standard SUM formula for the values to be charted, you could use a formula such as the following:

=IF(SUM(D7:D11)<0,0,SUM(D7:D11))

In this case, the value to be charted is set to zero if the sum is less than zero, or it reflects the actual total if the sum is zero or above.

If your data is conducive to filtering, you could also set up a filter so that negative values are filtered out. This will cause those values to be ignored in the chart created by Excel.

Of course, all this being said, one would have to wonder if a pie chart is the appropriate chart for representing this type of data in the first place. After all, pie charts represent portions of a whole—yet by filtering or adjusting totals, portions of the whole are being removed. Granted, they are negative portions, but they are portions nonetheless.

Pie charts, by their nature, are not well-suited for displaying negative numbers. If negative numbers are expected, then column or bar charts are a much more appropriate choice. Why? Because they can represent data that falls to the left of or below a baseline—as is appropriate for negative numbers.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3208) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Negatives in Pie Charts.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Deleting Worksheets in a Macro

Processing workbooks using a macro often involves the possible creation and subsequent deletion of worksheets. When it comes ...

Discover More

Protecting Print Settings

Need to have your print settings always be a certain way? Tired of resetting the settings after others use the workbook or ...

Discover More

Displaying Keyboard Shortcuts

A quick way to accomplish tasks in any Google Drive application is to rely on a handy collection of keyboard shortcuts. There ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Moving a Chart's Legend

Need to move a chart legend to a different place on the chart? It's easy to do using the mouse, as described in this tip.

Discover More

Controlling Chart Gridlines

Gridlines are often added to charts to help improve the readability of the chart itself. Here's how you can control whether ...

Discover More

Converting Charts to GIF Files

You spent a lot of time getting your chart to look just the way you wanted. Now you want to create a graphic file from that ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 2?

2017-01-26 10:47:28

Mackenzie <3

THIS REALLY ISN'T HELPFUL MY HOMEWORK IS DUE TOMMOROW AND I REALLY NEED HELP LIKE AN EXAMPLE etc: A PHOTO. PLEASE HELP :'(


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.