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  • How to Rotate a Chart in Excel? (Pie & Bar Graph)

How to Rotate a Chart in Excel? (Pie & Bar Graph)

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  • Published on:
    October 24, 2023
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  • Last updated:
    December 9, 2023
How to rotate charts in Excel - banner

This blog article will walk you through the steps on rotating charts in Excel. Whether it’s a pie chart or bar chart we will show you how it’s done and help you do this in your spreadsheet. In this guide, we will take you through the art of chart rotation in Excel, uncovering its significance, and setting the stage for your journey to becoming a data visualization maestro.

How To Rotate Pie Charts In Different Angles

When you want to display the proportional distribution of categories within a dataset you will use a pie chart. Especially when you have a small number of categories (typically less than 6 or 7) and need to highlight the relationship of parts to the whole. To emphasize the data relationship and add data values correctly there might be a need to rotate the pie chart.

Here’s how to rotate pie chart in Excel

Time needed: 1 minute

Step by step guide on rotating pie chart

  1. Right-click on the pie chart area to open the settings

    Simply right-click on the pie chart shape and a dropdown will show. Click on the Format Data Series to access rotation settings.
    Click on the pie chart to activate settings

  2. Access Series Options and change the “Angle of first slice”

    Check the Series Options and adjust the degree settings under the Angle of first slice. You will see how your chart starts rotating.
    Access angle of the first slice to rotate pie chart screenshot from Excel

Related Article: How to explode a pie chart in Excel?

Authors Note: Customizing your pie chart is crucial to get great data visualization results. We have also covered how to left-align your pie chart. In case you missed it – take a look at the tutorial on how to create a pie chart in Excel vs Ajelix BI.

Mastering Pie Charts: Excel vs. Ajelix BI - Create Professional Looking Reports Fast #aitools #guide
Create a pie chart in Excel and Ajelix BI. Which one is easier?

How To Rotate Bar Charts?

Use bar charts when you want to compare different categories or values, show trends over time, or visualize data that can be categorized and displayed as bars. Just as pie charts benefit from rotation, bar charts can be enhanced by adjusting their orientation. Not sure what’s the practical reasoning behind the need to rotate bar charts (besides creating cool charts) but still covered this topic.

Here’s a summary of how to rotate 3D bar charts

1. You need to create a 3D bar chart to enable the rotation option. You can’t rotate the standard bar chart.

2. Once you’ve created a 3D bar chart right-click on the bars to open the dropdown menu. Once the dropdown menu pop-up click on 3-D rotation.

How to rotate 3 D bar chart excel screenshot
Screenshot from Excel on how to activate dropdown menu and open 3-D rotation settings

3. Once you have opened Format Chart Area settings, look under 3-D Rotation and choose X Rotation and Y Rotation. Change the degrees and you will see how bar charts start rotating.

How to rotate 3d bar chart in Excel - series option pick perspective - screenshot from Excel

Here’s a comparison between a rotated 3-D bar chart and vs standard chart:

Standard bar chart vs rotated 3-D bar chart comparison by Ajelix
Comparison between standard bar chart vs rotated 3-D chart. Image Credit: Ajelix

Authors Note: If you find this article helpful you might also like the guide on creating double bar charts as well as how to sort bar charts in descending order. Our team has created a 60-second guide on creating bar charts in Excel, take a look:

3 Ways How To Create a Double Bar Chart in Excel vs. Ajelix BI #excel #tutorial #guide #tips #howto
Creating double bar chart in Excel vs Ajelix BI.

Quick and Easy Data Visualization With Ajelix BI

Have you ever considered that data visualization can be done with software that will ease the struggle, Excel training, and help you finish reports much faster? Take a look at the report we created and see how easy it is to start building.

BI and Visualization Tools: Your Path to Data-Driven Decision Making -Tutorial by Ajelix


Hope this guide helped you answer the questions and master your Excel spreadsheet tasks faster. Try new ways to tackle reporting tasks and let us know if you have any more questions or need additional help. Meanwhile, take a look at the other blog articles and check our social channels where we post Excel tips and tutorials every week.

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