How to Insert Leader Lines into Doughnut Chart in Excel

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Microsoft Excel is a powerful software. We create different charts with leader lines in our business analyses and presentations. Unfortunately, Excel does not provide in-built leader lines feature for Doughnut charts. Therefore, we will merge a Pie chart with a Doughnut chart and later remove the Pie chart to display leader lines. With that in mind, we will learn 6 easy steps to insert leader lines into Doughnut charts in Excel.


How to Insert Leader Lines to Doughnut Chart in Excel: Step-by-Step Procedures

A Doughnut chart acts differently from a Pie chart, for instance, while creating and positioning chart labels if it is simply a pie chart with a hole in it. We cannot just move the chart label outside the wedge to create a label with an L-shaped leader line in a Doughnut chart. A leader line connects a data label and the data point it is linked with. When we put data labels far from a data point, displaying the results more quickly is useful. In this article, we will access various Excel features to implement the procedure. For demonstration, we take a dataset that includes Stock Elements in column B and their Percentages in column C of the year 2023.

excel doughnut chart leader lines


Step 1: Create Dataset with Proper Parameters

In the first step, we will add 3 sub-headings namely Stock Elements, Percentage, and Year in columns B, C, and D respectively. Also, populate the headers with the correct values.

Introduce Dataset with Proper Parameters

Read More: How to Show Labels Outside in Excel Doughnut Chart


Step 2: Generate a Doughnut Chart in Excel

The objective of the second step is to create an in-built Doughnut chart from the Excel Chart group. Follow the easy procedures to display the chart in our workbook.

  • Firstly, select the range B5:C9.
  • Afterward, go to the Insert tab and click Insert Pie or Doughnut Chart in the Chart group.
  • See the picture below for a better understanding.

Generate a Doughnut Chart to insert leader line in Excel

  • Subsequently, a dialog box appears.
  • There, choose the Doughnut chart option.

  • As a result, a Doughnut chart pops up on the screen.

Generate a Doughnut Chart to insert leader line in Excel


Step 3: Use Paste Special Feature to Insert Data into Doughnut Chart

In this step, we will thoroughly insert the data into obtained Doughnut chart. We will use a keyboard shortcut to copy the data and paste them using the Paste Special tool in Excel. See the below pictures to understand more clearly.

  • First, select the range B4:C9 again and press  Ctrl+C  to copy the dataset.

Use Paste Special Feature to Insert Data into Doughnut Chart

  • Likewise, tap anywhere on the chart.
  • Later, go to the Home tab and tap the dropdown icon below Paste and click Paste Special.

  • Further, check the New series, Series Names in First Row, and Categories (X Labels) in First Column boxes.
  • Now, hit OK to paste the value into the chart.

Use Paste Special Feature to Insert Leader Line into Doughnut Chart

Read More: How to Make Doughnut Chart with Total in Middle in Excel


Step 4: Utilize Change Series Chart Type to Combine Doughnut and Pie Charts

This step aims to add a Pie chart to the Doughnut chart to insert the leader line. This is because Excel provides leader lines for Pie charts. Let’s follow the below procedure to do so.

  • First, right-click on the outermost layer of the chart.
  • Next, tap the Change Series Chart Type option.

Utilize Change Series Chart Type to Combine Doughnut and Pie Charts to insert leader lines into Doughnut Chart

  • Consequently, the Change Chart Type dialog box appears.
  • There, select the Pie Pie chart option → OK as given below.

  • Thus, we convert the Doughnut chart into a Pie chart.

Utilize Change Series Chart Type to Combine Doughnut and Pie Charts to insert leader lines into Doughnut Chart

Read More: How to Change Hole Size of Excel Doughnut Chart


Step 5: Add Data Labels in Pie Charts to Identify the Data Series

In this step, we will access chart formatting options such as Add Data Labels to display the Leader lines. Follow the below instructions properly.

  • To begin with, right-click the Pie chart to open the format context menu.
  • Furthermore, tap the Add Data Labels option.

Add Data Labels in Pie Charts to Identify the Data Series for inserting leader lines to doughnut chart in Excel

  • Thus, we add the labels to the pie chart.
  • Now, drag the labels outside the chart to display the Leader lines.
  • Lastly, we obtain the desired result.

Add Data Labels in Pie Charts to Identify the Data Series for inserting leader lines to doughnut chart in Excel


Step 6: Manually Remove Pie Chart Accessing Change Series Chart Type

In our last step, we will remove the added Pie chart from the Doughnut chart using the Change Series Chart Type feature again. To do so, follow the steps carefully.

  • Firstly, write the chart name in the Chart Title box and right-click on the chart again.
  • After that, choose the Change Series Chart Type option.

Manually Remove Pie Chart Accessing Change Series Chart Type for inserting Leader Line in Doughnut Chart

  • Consequently, the Change Chart Type dialog box appears.
  • Meanwhile, go to All Charts → Combo → type Doughnut in the Chart Type boxes → OK.

Manually Remove Pie Chart Accessing Change Series Chart Type

  • Lastly, we obtain our Doughnut chart with leader lines in our Excel dataset.

Manually Remove Pie Chart Accessing Change Series Chart Type


How to Add Leader Lines to Pie Chart in Excel

As already discussed, we can use Excel in-built features to display leader lines in Pie charts in Excel. To do so, follow the easy steps.

  • Firstly, generate a Pie chart and click on the Plus icon ( + ) → Data Labels → Outside End.

How to Add Leader Lines to Pie Chart in Excel

  • Finally, drag the labels one by one to display the leader lines.


Download Practice Workbook

Download this practice workbook to exercise while reading this article. It contains all the datasets in different spreadsheets for a clear understanding. Try it yourself while you go through the step-by-step process.


Conclusion

In conclusion, we have discussed some easy steps to insert leader lines into Doughnut chart in Excel. Please leave any further queries or recommendations in the comment box below. Goodbye!


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Yousuf Khan
Yousuf Khan

Hello! This is MD Yousuf Khan. I am a graduate & post-graduate in Information Technology from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. Currently, I am writing articles for ExcelDemy. I am an independent, self-motivated person with enthusiasm to learn new things, and always try to do my best in any work assigned to me.

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