Create a block bar doughnut chart

While not a big fan of pie charts and doughnut charts, when I am sent a challenge, I like to follow through.  The challenge was to create a doughnut chart in Excel for use on an infographic with block bars like the picture shown below.

doughnut chart - block bars

As usual, it’s not straightforward to do this in Excel.  Creating the doughnut chart is relatively easy, but creating different sizes for the slices is not built in.  In fact, I had to cheat.  First I increased the hole size and then I adjusted the size of the rings for each series by setting the line thickness of the main slice to really thick and having no line on the other in order to get the effect.  You can download my example here.

There’s a disadvantage to this approach. Regardless of what type of cap you choose, (round, square, or flat) the thickness of the line makes the slice appear slightly bigger than it actually is.  If you are only displaying one figure, with a data label as shown above, it’s ok, but it isn’t perfectly accurate.

square miter capThe options you can choose in Excel for the join type are shown below.  I chose a square cap, with a miter join.

join type

I’d actually be interested in knowing if there’s a better way of doing this in Excel – perhaps vba?  If you know of a better way – drop a comment below.

Hope it’s useful.

+Alesandra Blakeston

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