How to Show Percentages in Stacked Bar and Column Charts

Stacked Chart Percentage LeadExcel’s Stacked Bar and Stacked Column chart functions are great tools for showing how different pieces make up a whole. Unfortunately, the are somewhat limited, since they don’t automatically provide totals for the stack, and they don’t let you show the percentage contribution that each piece provides to the whole (like you can with pie charts in Excel). The good news is, there are work-arounds for displaying total volumes or dollars at the top of a stacked chart and percentages for each of the pieces. This tutorial will walk through the steps to get you results like you see in the image.

Building a Stacked Chart

To get started, we need to build a stacked chart. Most of the time, a vertical Stacked Column chart is the best option, but you can also use a Stacked Bar chart if your data (or data labels) require it. For this example, we’ll look at a few years of regional sales data.

Data Set

To build a chart from this data, we need to select it.

Chart Selection

Then, in the Insert menu tab, under the Charts section, choose the Stacked Column option from the Column chart button.

Select Stacked Chart

Your first results might not be exactly what you expect.

Reversed Chart

In this example, Excel chose the Regions as the X-Axis and the Years as the Series data. We want the exact opposite, so click on the Switch Row/Column button.

Switch Row Column

Now, we have something closer to what we want – a Stacked Column chart with Years on the X-Axis.

Correct Chart

Get the latest Excel tips and tricks by joining the newsletter!

Andrew Roberts ThumbnailAndrew Roberts has been solving business problems with Microsoft Excel for over a decade. Excel Tactics is dedicated to helping you master it. You can read more of his writing on his personal blog at NapkinMath.io.

Join the newsletter to stay on top of the latest articles. Sign up and you'll get a free guide with 10 time-saving keyboard shortcuts!

Other posts in this series...

14 thoughts on “How to Show Percentages in Stacked Bar and Column Charts

  1. fun little tip I came up with after using your great instructions:

    You can add in the item and Percentage simply by using a Text() function.
    Example:

    Refer to both the Item cell and % cell
    =Text(,”0%”)&”, “&

    you then point to this string, and your chart will show both percent and item.

    1. Can you explain your tip a little more? I am trying to apply it to my work but I am having difficulty. It sounds like it is just what I need. Thanks!

  2. Does anyone know how to get a graphic symbol in the same cell with a percentage ? I really like it, but I can’t figure out how to do this.

    Thanks for your help.

    Jeanne

    1. This is done with Conditional Formatting – usually located on your “Home” tab on your menu ribbon:

      1 – Select the range of cells you want to have this style of formatting.
      2 – Click “New Rule” from the Conditional Formatting dropdown menu.
      3 – Select “Format All Cells Based On Their Value” in the upper part of the window.
      4 – Select “Format Style – Icon Sets” in the lower part of the window.
      5 – Select the appropriate “Icon Style” from the dropdown menu.
      6 – Adjust the parameters so that the appropriate Value or Percentage will display the appropriate Icon.
      7 – OK!

  3. I’ve noticed an issue with the stacked percentage bar chart not adding up to 100% within Excel. Even in your illustration, year 2012 adds up only to 99%. Does anyone have a fix for this or does it require intensive quality control each time one of these is generated?

  4. As i have couple of data where in as per the stock is the chart is ready but unable to show the percentage with the stock please help

  5. Your solution for adding percentages manually is EXACTLY WHAT I WAS LOOKING FOR! It’s the best of all the cumbersome workarounds! Excel should just fix this dated and silly issue.

  6. You are double counting your data. You don’t need to include “Totals” in your data selection. The graph looks like your company sold 3M+ units, when in reality it’s half that.

  7. Thank you so much!!! I’ve been looking for this for days and once I found it I immediately practiced your tips. Turned out very great. Thank you again!!

  8. Hi, Hertriani.

    Sorry I am new to all of this and I am having a little trouble following.

    Which instructions did you use to create that graph that gives you a percentage stacked bar as well as a number.

    In the hotel world I would like to have a percentage occupancy showing while having the average rate paid labeled above it. In the end it should look like what you created.

    Thanks,

    Bryan

    1. hi Bryan, apologize for the delayed response cos I was not aware of your question until I got a notification email earlier today. I followed the instructions in this article, and made minor modification on the label setting. But basically it’s everything that is mentioned in this article. Feel free to contact me at hertriani@alaksir.net if you want to discuss this.

  9. Can someone help me on this… I got to the last step but when I click on the data label there is already a formula in the formula bar since the chart is obviously referencing cells. If I delete what is in there and then select the desired percentage cell, nothing happens. If I leave the formula in there and try to add the percentage cell before it, the chart turns into a mess.

    Any help would be great

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *