How to Create Sunburst Chart in Excel? (With Detailed Steps)

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In this Excel tutorial, you will learn how to
-Create a sunburst chart.
-Customize a sunburst chart.

We have used Microsoft 365 for the examples and applications. However, the Sunburst option under the Insert tab is available in Excel 2016 and the later versions.

A Sunburst chart is normally used for displaying hierarchical data in a circular format. It resembles the sun’s rays or the rings of a tree. Each ring of the chart represents each level of the hierarchy.

A Sunburst chart helps to visualize the proportionate distribution of data categories with color and size. We can identify the patterns, trends, and irregularities within the hierarchical data more clearly than the traditional tables or bar charts.

Sunburst Chart in Excel

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What is a Sunburst Chart?

The Sunburst Chart in Excel is for displaying hierarchical data. Each ring of the chart represents each level of the hierarchy. The data in a sunburst chart are sorted in an order that the largest value appears first and then it is arranged from largest to smallest amount clockwise. There is no way you can change this order as it is a default characteristic of this chart. But you can sort the order of the data that is used for the Excel Sunburst Chart.

Overview of Sunburst Chart in Excel

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  • The innermost circle here represents the main categories the data is divided into. In this case, the persons.
  • Outer segments represent the score distribution in different terms and their remarks.
  • These segments can be placed side-by-side depending on the dataset, especially if they are different sub-groups of the same group.

How to Create Sunburst Chart in Excel?

We can create a Sunburst chart with the Insert Hierarchy Chart option from the Insert tab.

  • Here, the dataset contains the term final results of students. To find out the total number of all the students combining all term final results, apply the following formula.

Calculating Totals of All Students

  • In order to remark on their performance, insert the following formula and press Enter.

Remarking Exam Performances

  • Then, click on Sunburst from the Insert tab. You will find it under the Hierarchy Chart section on the ribbon.
Command Sequence to Generate Sunburst Chart in Excel

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  • We will have a sunburst chart in our worksheet. You can change the appearance of the chart. For this, go to the Chart Design tab and select your preferred design from the ribbon.
Changing the Sunburst Chart Style

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  • Thus, we can create a Sunburst Chart quite easily.

Sunburst Chart in Excel

Read More: How to Insert Sunburst Chart in Excel

Which Things Should You Remember?

  • Keep a cell selected inside the table while generating the Sunburst Chart.
  • If you do not select the generated sunburst chart, you won’t have the Chart Design tab to change the design of the chart.
  • In case the chart data does not update automatically with underlying data change, you can right-click on the chart and select the Edit Data option to redirect them manually.


In this article, I have tried to summarize the plotting and necessary customizations of the Sunburst Chart in Excel. I hope you have learned the detailed procedure to create a Sunburst chart in Excel. Also, you have learned the process of the special kind of dataset formation from this article. I hope this article will be helpful for you. For any further questions, please comment below. You can also visit our site for more Excel-related articles.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the main difference between Sunburst and Treemap Charts?

Both chart types explain the hierarchical pattern of data. But the Sunburst chart begins with the central circle with concentric nodes rings around it. On the other hand, the Treemap chart divides the area into nested rectangles.

2. What is the use of the sunburst diagram in Excel?

Sunburst Charts are mainly used to display the hierarchical structure of data and reveal the relationships between different levels. In order to explain the population of cities, states, countries, and continents, we can use the hierarchy order of the Excel Sunburst diagram. You can also learn about the detailed information of firms of an industry quite easily.

3. What are the components of a sunburst chart?

A Sunburst Chart in Excel is nothing but an inner circle surrounded by outer rings with deeper hierarchy levels.

Sunburst Chart in Excel: Knowledge Hub

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Naimul Hasan Arif
Naimul Hasan Arif

Naimul Hasan Arif, a BUET graduate in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, has been contributing to the ExcelDemy project for nearly two years. Currently serving as an Excel and VBA Content Developer, Arif has written more than 120 articles and has also provided user support through comments His expertise lies in Microsoft Office Suite, VBA and he thrives on learning new aspects of data analysis. Arif's dedication to the ExcelDemy project is reflected in his consistent contributions and... Read Full Bio

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