[solved] calc data label offset on (pie) chart

Hi there, I’m using gentoo build.
Couldn’t find anything on google for my question, so…

I’ve generated a pie chart and put the values that relate to my pie “slices” as data labels to outside the pie, i.e.: format data labels → data labels → placement outside. Now for the smaller slices, the labels overlap each other.
Is there an option to set something like an offset to the outside placement? The labels wouldn’t overlap if I could place them some points further away from the outer border of my pie chart.

Cheers :slight_smile:


An option to generate an offset I do not think it exists. However you could alternate Outside/Inside. You have to select the points individually. This requires two clicks (not a double click), then right-click then Format Single Data Label.

Otherwise, a hack: Insert Data Labels Number format, uncheck Source format and use a number format such as:

"             "Standard"              "

this format adds spaces before and after the number…


Hi Pierre-Yves. Your first solution worked out fine! Thanks very much for the instant reply :-).



I would like to expand on this “click twice” method, as I was unaware of this and never would have found this method unless for pierre-yves samyn kind answer.

If you have a chart in a spreadsheet and wave your mouse cursor over it the cursor stays an arrow. If you single-click anywhere inside the chart, the outside edge of the chart gets green little boxes and the mouse cursor becomes a crossed-double-head arrow indicating you can left-click and hold and move the entire chart. You can also precisely hover over the green boxes and then the cursor changes to a single double-head arrow to show you can left click and hold and change the size of the overall chart. Remember, software is written by youngsters with the visual acuity and hand-eye co-ordination of fighter pilots.

What is taken for granted above is that to move a single label you have to be in chart edit mode. The easy way to get there is to double-click in the chart. The menu ribbons change from standard ribbons to the chart edit ribbon. Very handy. Now if you are hovering over the grid part of the chart, the mouse is a crossed pair of double-headed arrows. Now you can move the grid part of the chart inside the overall chart box. Summon your inner fighter pilot. Very carefully hover over any data label by a data point (I was doing a scatter plot). The mouse cursor changes back to the normal single arrow. Without moving your hand more that 7 micro-inches, do a left click. Now all the data labels should have a tiny green box over them. Breathe. Now you can point to any individual label, and if you are precise enough, a single left click will then put little green boxes around that single label. Now right click and you get the choice to edit an individual label. For me this was perfect. Where I had two data points that overlapped, I could set one label to the right and the other to below.

Getting the labels to show in the first place is another Dungeons and Dragons puzzle. Do the double-click to get into chart edit mode. Then go to the menu bar (not the ribbon, but the blue menu bar) and click Insert>Data Labels. This is the global control for all the labels. Check the box “Show Category”. You have to tell the chart the column with the names-- I did that in the Data Ranges button in the white menu ribbon, and in the right tab, Data Series, I made the column with part names as the “Name” data.

And a shout out for closed thread “Data labels on data series [closed]”. Was importing a spreadsheet from excel where every data point was a series. It made a huge legend in the right side, but was OK, if clumsy, way to show speed and current for 100 different comparitor chips. With the method from that other thread, I realized I just needed data in columns and one series, and then I could use the Insert>Data Labels, to put the name of each chip right next to the point. Much better and with the location tricks in this thread, a great way to show the data. Indeed, you can have four points overlap and put the individual data above, below and to the left and right, and its clear what is going on.