Add a legend to a chart

When you create a chart, the legend (legend: A box that identifies the patterns or colors that are assigned to the data series or categories in a chart.) appears by default — unless you specify to hide it in the Chart Wizard. You can also hide the legend or change its location in an existing chart. For information about creating a chart, see Create a chart.

If your chart is a line, area, column or bar chart, you can also show a data table. A data table displays the legend keys and the values that are presented in the chart in a grid at the bottom of the chart.

What do you want to do?

Show or hide a legend

Show or hide a data table

Show or hide a legend

  1. Click the chart sheet (chart sheet: A sheet in a workbook that contains only a chart. A chart sheet is beneficial when you want to view a chart or a PivotChart report separately from worksheet data or a PivotTable report.) or the embedded chart (embedded chart: A chart that is placed on a worksheet rather than on a separate chart sheet. Embedded charts are beneficial when you want to view or print a chart or a PivotChart report with its source data or other information in a worksheet.) to which you want to add a legend.
  2. On the Chart menu, click Chart Options.
  3. On the Legend tab, select or clear the Show legend check box to show or hide the legend.
  4. Under Placement, click the option that you want.

 Note   When you click one of the Placement options, the legend moves, and the plot area (plot area: In a 2-D chart, the area bounded by the axes, including all data series. In a 3-D chart, the area bounded by the axes, including the data series, category names, tick-mark labels, and axis titles.) automatically adjusts to accommodate it. If you move and size the legend by using the mouse, the plot area does not automatically adjust. When you use the Placement options, the legend loses any custom sizing that you may have already applied by using the mouse.

 Tip   To quickly remove a legend or a legend entry from a chart, you can select it, and then press DELETE. Or you can right-click the legend or legend entry, and then click Clear.

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Show or hide a data table

  1. Click the chart sheet (chart sheet: A sheet in a workbook that contains only a chart. A chart sheet is beneficial when you want to view a chart or a PivotChart report separately from worksheet data or a PivotTable report.) or the embedded chart (embedded chart: A chart that is placed on a worksheet rather than on a separate chart sheet. Embedded charts are beneficial when you want to view or print a chart or a PivotChart report with its source data or other information in a worksheet.) of a line, area, column or bar chart to which you want to add a data table or remove a data table from.
  2. On the Chart menu, click Chart Options, and then click the Data Table tab.
  3. To show or hide the data table, select or clear the Show data table check box.

 Notes 

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Applies to:
Excel 2003