Add or remove titles in a chart

To make a chart easier to understand, you can add titles (titles in charts: Descriptive text that is automatically aligned to an axis or centered at the top of a chart.), such as a chart title and axis titles, to any type of chart. Axis titles are typically available for all axes that can be displayed in a chart, including depth (series) axes in 3-D charts. Some chart types (such as radar charts) have axes, but they cannot display axis titles. Chart types that do not have axes (such as pie and doughnut charts) cannot display axis titles either.

Formatted scatter chart

This scatter chart displays a title that is centered above the chart, and an axis title for both the horizontal and vertical axis.

You can also link chart and axis titles to corresponding text in worksheet (worksheet: The primary document that you use in Excel to store and work with data. Also called a spreadsheet. A worksheet consists of cells that are organized into columns and rows; a worksheet is always stored in a workbook.) cells by creating a reference to those cells. Linked titles are automatically updated in the chart when you change the corresponding text on the worksheet. If you no longer want to display the titles, you can remove them from the chart.

What do you want to do?


Apply a chart layout that contains titles

  1. Click anywhere in the chart to which you want to apply a chart layout.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Design tab, in the Chart Layouts group, click a layout that contains titles.

Ribbon Image

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Add a chart title manually

  1. Click anywhere in the chart to which you want to add a title.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Layout tab, in the Labels group, click Chart Title.

Ribbon Image

  1. Click Centered Overlay Title or Above Chart.
  2. In the Chart Title text box that appears in the chart, type the text that you want.

 Tip   To start a new line, press ENTER. To insert a line break, click to place the cursor where you want to break the line, and then press ENTER.

  1. To format the text in the title box, do the following:
    1. Click in the title box, and then select the text that you want to format.
    2. On the Mini toolbar, click the formatting options that you want.

 Tip   You can also use the formatting buttons on the ribbon (Home tab, Font group). To format the whole title, you can right-click it, click Format Chart Title, and then select the formatting options that you want.

 Notes 

  • The size of the title box adjusts to the size of the text. You cannot resize the title box, and the text may become truncated if it does not fit in the maximum size.
  • You can only add one title to a chart. If you want to use a second title or a sub title, you can draw a text box on the chart, and move it to the location that you want (Chart Tools, Layout tab, Insert group, Text Box).
  • You can manually move the title to another location by dragging the title box to the location that you want.

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Add axis titles manually

  1. Click anywhere in the chart to which you want to add axis titles.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. On the Layout tab, in the Labels group, click Axis Titles.

Ribbon Image

  1. Do any of the following:
    • To add a title to a primary horizontal (category) axis, click Primary Horizontal Axis Title, and then click the option that you want.

 Tip   If the chart has a secondary horizontal axis, you can also click Secondary Horizontal Axis Title.

  • To add a title to primary vertical (value) axis, click Primary Vertical Axis Title or Secondary Vertical Axis Title, and then click the option that you want.

 Tip   If the chart has a secondary vertical axis, you can also click Secondary Vertical Axis Title.

  • To add a title to a depth (series) axis, click Depth Axis Title, and then click the option that you want.

 Note   This option is only available when the selected chart is a true 3-D chart, such as a 3-D column chart.

  1. In the Axis Title text box that appears in the chart, type the text that you want.

 Tip   To start a new line, press ENTER. To insert a line break, click to place the cursor where you want to break the line, and then press ENTER.

  1. To format the text in the title box, do the following:
  1. Click in the title box, and then select the text that you want to format.
  2. On the Mini toolbar, click the formatting options that you want.

 Tip   You can also use the formatting buttons on the ribbon (Home tab, Font group. To format the whole title, you can right-click it, click Format Axis Title, and then select the formatting options that you want.

 Notes 

  • If you switch to another chart type that does not support axis titles (such as a pie chart), the axis titles will no longer be displayed. The titles will be displayed again when you switch back to a chart type that does support axis titles.
  • Axis titles that are displayed for secondary axes will be lost when you switch to a chart type that does not display secondary axes.

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Link a chart or axis title to a worksheet cell

  1. On a chart, click the chart or axis title that you want to link to a worksheet cell.
  2. On the worksheet, click in the formula bar (formula bar: A bar at the top of the Excel window that you use to enter or edit values or formulas in cells or charts. Displays the constant value or formula stored in the active cell.), and then type an equal sign (=).
  3. Select the worksheet cell that contains the data or text that you want to display in your chart.

 Tip   You can also type the reference to the worksheet cell in the formula bar. Include an equal sign, the sheet name, followed by an exclamation point; for example, =Sheet1!F2

  1. Press ENTER.

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Remove a chart or axis title from a chart

  1. Click anywhere in the chart.

This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To remove a chart title, on the Layout tab, in the Labels group, click Chart Title, and then click None.

Ribbon Image

  • To remove an axis title, on the Layout tab, in the Labels group, click Axis Title, click the type of axis title that you want to remove, and then click None.
  • To quickly remove a chart or axis title, click the title, and then press DELETE. You can also right-click the chart or axis title, and then click Delete.
  • To remove chart or axis titles immediately after you add them, you can click Undo on the Quick Access Toolbar, or you can press CTRL+Z.

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Applies to:
Excel 2010, Outlook 2010, PowerPoint 2010, Word 2010