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Chart of the Month – March 2011 – Highlighting Pie Segments

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This highlighting technique is very easy to set up, but is not used very often. Two reasons this idea is the chart of the month is because the graphic lends itself to being a document tracker so well and segment colors aren't necessary to highlight the segment under discussion.

Using the graphic

The concept illustrated in the Chart of the Month example is very simple, but there are so many other concepts that this graphic can illustrate – basically, any evenly segmented non-data-driven pie chart concept can be expanded upon to use this highlighting technique.

Creating the graphic

Very simple. There are just a few steps:

  1. Group the evenly segmented non-data-driven pie and duplicate it
  2. Align the original and duplicate pie graphics vertically and horizontally so they are perfectly aligned and appear as one graphic
  3. Rescale the duplicate pie chart so that it expands in place by holding the Shift-Control keys down

    [The next few steps are necessary to create a group of 2 segments that pivot at the center of the pie graphic; otherwise the highlighting segment would pivot on its center and not perform properly. Download the animated example to see how this is supposed to work]
  4. Duplicate the expanded pie graphic
  5. Flip the duplicate expanded pie graphic vertically and horizontally
  6. Align the expanded pie chart graphics vertically and horizontally so they are perfectly aligned and appear as one graphic
  7. Ungroup the top flipped expanded graphic and delete all of the segments except the segment that is directly across from the unflipped expanded pie graphic that begins at 12 o'clock (the mirror image of the segment beginning to the right of top-center)
  8. Ungroup the expanded graphic and delete all the segments except the segment that begins at 12 o'clock
  9. Apply the fill and line color(s) you wish to use for the expanded highlighting segment that begins at 12 o'clock
  10. Remove the fill and line color of the mirror-image segment (at bottom) and group with the highlighting segment (at top).
  11. You are now able to either apply animation to spin the highlighting segment on clicks during a presentation or manually spin the segment into place using the green handle at the top of the grouped segments. If you wish to use animation, simply divide 360 by the number of segments in the pie graphic and apply spin animation using that increment. Example: 5 segments = 360 divided by 5 = 72.

Download the animated example to see how this works in detail and also how the associated text reveals are animated.

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