Create a sunburst chart in Office 2016

The sunburst chart is ideal for displaying hierarchical data. Each level of the hierarchy is represented by one ring or circle with the innermost circle as the top of the hierarchy. A sunburst chart without any hierarchical data (one level of categories), looks similar to a doughnut chart. However, a sunburst chart with multiple levels of categories shows how the outer rings relate to the inner rings. The sunburst chart is most effective at showing how one ring is broken into its contributing pieces, while another type of hierarchical chart, the treemap chart, is ideal for comparing relative sizes.

Picture of a Sunburst Chart in Office 2016 for Windows

Create a sunburst chart

  1. Select your data.

    Data used to create the example sunburst chart
    Data used to create the example chart. Note the blank cells.
  2. Click Insert > Insert Hierarchy Chart > Sunburst.

    Sunburst chart type on the Insert tab in Office 2016 for Windows

    You can also use the All Charts tab in Recommended Charts to create a sunburst chart, although the sunburst chart will only be recommended when empty (blank) cells exist within the hierarchal structure. (click Insert >Recommended Charts > All Charts tab)

Tip: Use the Design and Format tabs to customize the look of your chart. If you don't see these tabs, click anywhere in the sunburst chart to add the Chart Tools to the ribbon.

Design and Format tabs for the Chart Tools

Create a sunburst chart

  1. Select your data.

    Data used to create the example sunburst chart
    Data used to create the example chart. Note the blank cells.
  2. On the ribbon, click the Insert tab, and then click Hierarchy chart icon (Hierarchy icon), and select Sunburst.

    Sunburst chart on the ribbon

    Tip: Use the Chart Design and Format tabs to customize the look of your chart. If you don't see these tabs, click anywhere in the Sunburst chart to display them on the ribbon.

To read more about the sunburst chart and how it helps you visualize hierarchical data, see this blog post on the sunburst and treemap chart by the Excel team. You may also be interested learning more about the other new chart types described in this blog post.

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