Ignore a Blank Data Series in the Legend


S

Stormy

Hi,

I'm creating Pie Charts based on data from 10 data series fields. Some of
the data fields are blank, and so I've managed to create data labels that
only show on the Pie Chart if there is a value (otherwise the Chart was too
hard to read due to lots of blank labels).

However, if I show the Legend, the blank data series field still appear, so
I have say, 4 labels with the correct data series names but 6 which are
blank. Can I make the Legend ignore blank fields, and just show the 4 that
have values?

Thanks
 
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J

Jon Peltier

You can manually remove individual legend entries. Click on the legend, then
on the label of the entry you want to remove, then click Delete. Repeat as
needed. To retrieve deleted entries you have to delete the entire legend and
then add it back to the chart. This isn't dynamic.

You can apply a filter to your data, so rows containing zero or missing
values are hidden. Charts by default do not show data in hidden cells. This
also isn't dynamic, but it is easier to change.

If you have data labels on your chart, isn't the legend redundant? In any
case, the legend is separated from the data points, causing the viewer to
look back and forth in order to decode the chart.

Here's another suggestion:

Make a horizontal bar chart. The labels sit to the left of the bars, and you
can put value labels on the bars. Everyone thinks you need to use a pie
chart to show how all the individual pieces add up to the whole, but
research shows that pie charts aren't very good at this, especially if a
viewer wants to make comparisons between different segments. The segments
are badly oriented for this purpose, and people cannot judge areas or angles
as well as linear dimensions, such as the lengths of the bars. If there are
more than about five wedges, the pie chart becomes completely useless
because of cluttered labels and too much misalignment.

- Jon
 

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