Pie and Doughnut Charts in Origin 2020

Pie or Doughnuts?

Pie charts are one of the most common and easily understood graph types. They are used to plot relative percentages among categories of a given variable. The circular “pie” is the whole — the total value of all categories — and each category is a “slice” whose percentage of that whole is proportional to the length of its projected arc.

Doughnut charts (aka “Donut” charts) are an extension of pie charts.  The doughnut chart allows the presenter to combine the information of multiple “pies” into a single graphic, thus producing gains in both economy of space and of ease with which the viewer can spot trends over time. On the other hand, multiple pie charts may be preferable when the presenter needs to draw attention to relative proportions, as the ring structure of the doughnut chart emphasizes the outer plots and de-emphasizes the inner plots.

Fresh Doughnuts, Refreshed Pie

Doughnut charts are one of several new plot types added for Origin 2020. Considerable effort went into making Origin’s doughnut chart highly customizable. In the process, Origin’s familiar pie charts got an overhaul and gained a whole slew of customizable new properties. In this blog post, we’ll showcase a handful of the new pie and doughnut charts and highlight some key customization options.

Previously, Origin shipped with two built-in pie chart templates — the 2D Black & White Pie Chart and the 3D Color Pie Chart. The two were cousins: You could create a 2D B&W Pie Chart from a 3D Color Pie Chart or vice versa, using the controls in Plot Details . I mention this because the old 2D B&W Pie Chart is out for Origin 2020 and is replaced by a 2D Color Pie Chart. If you liked the old 2D B&W chart with hatch patterns, you can easily recreate that template by customizing the new 2D Color Pie and saving it to your User Files Folder with a new name (e.g. “2DBWPie.otpu”).

As mentioned, there are many new properties and several new pie chart templates for Origin 2020. You’ll find them in the menu under Plot: 2D Basic, alongside the new doughnut charts. Here are some examples that you can find in the Learning Center (press F11):

Pie of Pie, Bar of Pie, and Doughnut of Pie
  • Combine Wedges by Percentage, by Value or Custom (you pick manually).
  • Show Combined as Pie, as Column or as Doughnut.

Pie Chart with Combined Wedges replotted as a Column Chart with Labels

Pie with Different Radius
  • Increment Radius using data values in a worksheet column of your choice.

Doughnut with Total
  • Set Wedges Total by Percent or Value and specify the quantity that will equal the whole (as the following example shows, it does not have to be 100%).
  • Plot Remainder as Wedge and specify the color to represent the remainder.

Doughnut Plot
  • Labels tab, Format = Categories.
  • Format = Decimal: 1000 and Decimal Places = 1.

Note: This graph uses 2 X columns of categorical data — one with the major categories (inner ring), the other with subcategories (outer ring). Constructing this plot requires a little extra effort. To see how it is made, press F11 in Origin 2020 and look for it by searching Graph Samples > All Plot Types for keyword = “2020”.

So, this is a broad rundown of the new doughnut and updated pie charts, for Origin 2020.  Please look for these plots and more when Origin 2020 is released in the Fall of 2019.

Thank you for reading!

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