How to Create Drill Down Chart in Excel (with Easy Steps)

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If you want to navigate through multiple levels or categories of a dataset, then Drill Down Chart is the best possible option for you. In Excel, it is very handy to drill down through a chart by following some simple steps. In this article, I have shown how to create a Drill Down Chart in Excel in a very simple way. Let’s get started.

Overview Image of Drill down chart in Excel

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What Is a Drill Down Chart in Excel?

Some data charts contain multiple fields, and it is difficult to understand the chart if all the fields are shown at once. In this case, we need to Drill Down through the chart. A Drill Down chart is a type of chart or graph that allows the viewer to navigate through multiple levels of detail or data. It typically starts with an overview of the data at a high level, and then allows the user to drill down into more specific categories or subsets of the data.

Normal chart vs drill down chart

How to Create Drill Down Chart in Excel (Step-by-Step Procedures)

Suppose I have a dataset where I have sales data for 2 months. For each month, there are two regions – East and West. There are two categories of products- Electronics and Clothing. Again, in the Electronics category, there are two products- TV and Laptop. In the Clothing category, there is one product- T-shirts. I want to see the sum of sales for every category or level. So here, I will use Pivot Table to organize the data, and later, I will create a Pivot Chart following a drill down the chart.

Using this dataset we will create Excel drill down chart

1st Step: Create a Pivot Table 

  • To begin, select the cell in another sheet where you want to get the Pivot Table.
  • Next, click on the Insert tab.
  • Click on PivotTable and choose the From Table/Range option.

Inserting Pivot Table to Create drill down chart in Excel

  • You can see, PivotTable from table or range dialog box has appeared.
  • Select the entire table of the dataset for which you want to create the Pivot Table.
  • In Choose where you want the PivoTable to be Placed, select Existing Worksheet.
  • Then, press OK.

PivotTable from table or range dialog box

In the selected sheet, a PivotTable like the following image will appear, which is incomplete. You have to choose the fields of the dataset.

Creating PivotTable

  • In the PivotTable Fields Pane, put a tick beside the fields for which you want the PivotTable. Here, I have selected all the fields.
  • You will notice that the field that contains values will automatically be placed below Values. It is named the Sum of Sales.
  • The other fields will be placed below the Rows.

Pivot Table for Sales Data

  • Therefore, you have successfully created the Pivot Table.

Read More: How to Create Drill Down in Excel (with Easy Steps)

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2nd Step: Create a Pivot Chart

The next step is to create a Pivot Chart for the newly created Pivot Table. Follow the steps below:

  • Firstly, click on the Insert tab.
  • Then, select PivotChart, and from the options that appear below, choose PivotChart.

Inserting PivotChart

  • An Insert Chart dialog box will pop up.
  • From All Chart, I have selected the Column chart. You can choose according to your dataset.
  • Afterward, hit the OK button.

Inserting Column Chart to create drill down chart in Excel

  • So you have created the Pivot Chart for the selected Pivot Table.


Read More: How to Drill Down in Excel Without Pivot Table (With Easy Steps)

3rd Step: Click on Drill Down Buttons in the Pivot Chart

In this step, you will learn how to drill down through the chart. It is really useful to know the sum of Sales for each field.

  • You can see a small + and sign icon at the bottom right corner of the Pivot Chart.
  • This is the Drill down menu of the chart. If you want to see a detailed view, you have to click on the “ +” sign. and if you want to see less, then click on the “ ” sign.

  • Click on the “+” sign, and for each month, you can see both the East and West Region’s total sales data.

Drill Down through the fields

  • Click one more time on the “+” sign, and you can see the total sales for the Product Categories.

Drill through the subsets of the dataset

  • Do the same action to see a more detailed view of the sum of sales for each field.

Drill down through the different categories

Here is a short video that will help you better understand.


Frequently Asked Questions

  • What does Drill Down mean in Excel?

Answer: In Excel, “Drill Down” refers to the process of exploring and analyzing data in greater detail by breaking it down into smaller parts or subsets.

When you drill down on a particular set of data, you are essentially narrowing your focus to a more specific level. For example, if you have a summary table of sales data by year and quarter, you can drill down to see the sales data for a specific quarter or month.

To drill down in Excel, you can double-click on a cell or right-click and select “Drill Down” from the context menu. Excel will then display a new worksheet or pivot table that shows the underlying data that makes up the selected cell.

  • Can I drill down in Excel pivot charts using no VBA?

Answer: Yes, you can drill down in Excel pivot charts without using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications). Excel pivot charts allow you to interactively explore and analyze data by drilling down into the details. Here’s how you can do it:

Use the “Expand” and “Collapse” buttons: Pivot charts also provide “Expand” and “Collapse” buttons that allow you to drill down or roll up the data in the chart. These buttons are available for certain chart types, such as pivot bar charts, pivot column charts, and pivot line charts. You can use these buttons to dynamically expand or collapse data categories, helping you to further explore and analyze the data.


This article provides a clear understanding of how to create a drill down chart in Excel. I have explained how to create a drill down chart in 3 easy steps. I hope this article will help you navigate through the subsets of your dataset. If you have any questions regarding this article, please leave a comment so that we can help.

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Mahfuza Anika Era
Mahfuza Anika Era

Hello! Welcome to my Profile. Recently I have been graduated from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology in Civil Engineering. Being a fresh graduate, I want to build up my skill in article writing about Microsoft Excel and VBA. I am also interested in research and development. I believe in learning something new every day and implementing my knowledge more effectively.

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