Your presentation-development partner … demonstrate and inspire!
Tutorial for

Data-Driven Charts 017

Donut Charts

Working with Donut Charts

Donut charts simply display "stacked pie charts." Each "donut" of data is essentially a pie chart and, together, provide an easy comparison between donuts (pies). Pies are a way to segments of a whole; donuts are a way to compare the segments of many wholes.

The are a little difficult to label, however. The series example shows labeling using leader lines that does not obscure the segments of the donuts. The leader lines are a good option.

PowerFrameworks usually advocates for not border lines around segments. This is an instance where border lines are essential. The border lines around the segments define the different pies.

Customizing data-driven charts

Adjust size

Pre-PowerPoint 2007: to adjust the size of a data-driven chart, you must double click on it and then adjust it by pulling the corner handles. Do not size without double-clicking on the chart. The text will skew and the chart may even eventually corrupt if you size incorrectly. This is important. The text may scale as you do this (which is an option you can choose or not choose). We recommend that you do not scale your text, as font size consistency is important for readability.

If you are using PowerPoint 2007, just resize without double clicking. No distortion will take place

Color variations

The colors for data-driven charts are determined by your template's color scheme or palette. Your template needs to reflect the branded colors of your template or your charts will fail to do so. If you need to augment the colors in your template, select complementary or contrasting colors that work well with your palette. Then use them consistently.

3D variations

3D is not recommended. 3D in charts is ambiguous and imprecise. The idea behind presenting data is to be precise. Never sacrifice clarity or concision for the sake of style.


Apply shadows carefully if at all. It's probably better to apply gradients, patterns, and pictures. You don't want anything to obscure the values or make them ambiguous. This is the same argument against using 3D.

Gradients, patterns, and pictures

These effects are not options with this type of chart.


Animate with a purpose. Simple reveals are much more effective than the more "startling" animations, unless of course you are trying to startle your audience. Add pizzazz by way of content, not by adding sparkly accessories.

Click on a name for more information.
Click on a thumbnail to view a larger image