Numbers Donut Charts

A new feature of Numbers, Pages and Keynote is the ability to use Donut charts instead of Pie charts to represent a single row of data. Donut charts are popular right now, and some say they are better ways to visualize data than Pie charts.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Numbers Donut Charts.

So let's take a look at a new type of chart that's available in Number version 5.0, just released the other week, for Mac. This new type of chart is called a donut chart. Very similar to a pie chart.

Let's start with a simple table like this where it's just a single basic row of data. Normally for a pie chart you would select the data, I just selected the entire table there, and I'm going to hit Chart and I'm going to select the pie chart. This is what I get as a result here. I get a pie chart that shows me the division between the numbers. There's just six of them here. It's pretty basic and we're used to that.

But a donut chart, while displaying information that's very similar, is a little different. I'm going to select All again and I'm going to click Chart and then you can see the new donut chart right here. I'll select that. Now you can see it basically is like a pie chart but the center is hollow. Now the advantages to this depends on your theory of charts and what sort of graphs and things you want to use in your presentations and your spreadsheets and all of that. One of the advantage is that you can put something in the middle here. In fact, if I select it here and I go to Format and Chart and Title you can see it actually puts the title there at the center rather than at the top or the bottom or somewhere else. So you can save a little space and not have something outside like that.

Another thing about it that people talk about is the visual aspect of it, that our eyes are a little bit better at looking at these basically curved bars. It's like a curved bar chart, almost. And identifying the percentages of like this purple band here versus this blue band. We're better at doing that with our brains than doing it in a pie chart where it's all filled in with a wedge. So there's those kind of advantages and also it's kind of the style now. It's a more interesting style you see in a lot of infographics and you see in a lot of presentations. So that's why it's been added.

Now there's a lot of different things that you can do to customize it just similar to the other charts. You can, like I said, put the title there. You've got the legend there at the top. You can have that on or off. Title position can go at the top if you really wanted to. You can do all sorts of different things. Background fill, you know, change it to a gradient, color make it something besides white for instance if you really wanted to do that. The Shadow, you can have shadow over the different bars individuals or all as one group so the entire thing has a shadow to it.

There is no 3D version of the donut chart, unlike pie charts, so that's something to consider. You can, for individual segments, change different things. So, for instance, if I wanted to highlight a specific segment I can click it there and you could see I change its order, I can change it to a name and then get rid of the value like that. I can select all of these segments and do that for all of them. I can even change the Leader Line type for instance or actually have the number embedded inside of the bar there. I can pull it out to have it a distance from center so it's a good way to highlight a specific item in there.

So a lot of things you can do. You can do those with pie charts as well. Donut charts a just a really good new addition to Numbers and it brings it kind of up to date with a lot of other spreadsheets that now offer them. You as you can expect you can also use these donut charts inside of Pages and inside of Keynote as well.

Comments: 5 Responses to “Numbers Donut Charts”

    1 year ago

    Looks like they’d use a lot less toner/ink as well… especially if a lot of copies are involved.

    Franc Coleman
    1 year ago

    Could you please tell me how you deleted the thin black border on yoyr Donut Chart?

    I created a chart but mine has a thin black border around it?


    1 year ago

    I can’t see any way to add a border to the chart. Is the border around the curved parts of the donut, or a square around the entire thing? Perhaps you added a shadow and it just looks like a border with your scale?

    10 months ago

    I wonder whether you can still animate the donut chart in keynote? I don’t seem to find it possible anymore. Thanks!

    10 months ago

    nico: The real chart animation features in Keynote are only for the 3D charts. Donut doesn’t have a 3D version. You can apply some standard build-ins for the 2D charts, including Donut, but that is just trying to make each item appear in different ways. Not sure what you mean by “still” as the Donut chart is very new.

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