Change data labels in a chart

You can change the data labels (data label: A label that provides additional information about a data marker, which represents a single data point or value that originates from a worksheet cell.) that are added to data markers (data marker: A bar, area, dot, slice, or other symbol in a chart that represents a single data point or value that originates from a worksheet cell. Related data markers in a chart constitute a data series.) in a chart by editing them on the chart itself, or by editing them in the 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.) that was used to create the chart.

When you change the contents of a data label on the chart, the data label is no longer linked to a worksheet cell, and the changes that you make will not be reflected in the worksheet. You can reestablish links between data labels and worksheet cells if needed.

If the calculation option is set to automatic in your worksheet (Tools menu, Options command, Calculation tab), changes that you make on the worksheet will be reflected in the data labels on the chart.

What do you want to do?

Edit the contents of a data label in the chart

Edit the contents of a data label in the worksheet

Reestablish links between data labels and worksheet cells

Edit the contents of a data label in the chart

  1. On a 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 in an 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.), click twice on the data label that you want to change.

The first click selects the data labels for the entire series, and the second click selects the individual data label to place it in editing mode.

  1. Edit the existing contents, or type the new text or value, and then press ENTER.

 Note   Although you can enter numbers in a data label, you cannot apply number formatting to numbers. You can only apply text formatting. To format the text, select it, and then click Selected Data Labels on the Format menu. On the Font tab, select the options that you want.

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Edit the contents of a data label in the worksheet

  1. In the worksheet, click the cell that contains the data label text that you want to change.
  2. Edit the existing contents, or type the new text or value, and then press ENTER.

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Reestablish links between data labels and worksheet cells

If you have changed the data label (data label: A label that provides additional information about a data marker, which represents a single data point or value that originates from a worksheet cell.) text on a chart, the data label is no longer linked to a worksheet cell. You can reestablish the link one data series at a time, or for all data series at once.

 Note   In PivotChart reports (PivotChart report: A chart that provides interactive analysis of data, like a PivotTable report. You can change views of data, see different levels of detail, or reorganize the chart layout by dragging fields and by showing or hiding items in fields.), the following procedures reestablish links between data labels and source data (not worksheet cells).

Reestablish the link for one data series in the chart

  1. On a 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 in an 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.), click a data marker (data marker: A bar, area, dot, slice, or other symbol in a chart that represents a single data point or value that originates from a worksheet cell. Related data markers in a chart constitute a data series.) in the data series (data series: Related data points that are plotted in a chart. Each data series in a chart has a unique color or pattern and is represented in the chart legend. You can plot one or more data series in a chart. Pie charts have only one data series.) that is associated with the data labels whose links you want to reestablish.
  2. On the Format menu, click Selected Data Series.
  3. On the Data Labels tab, select the Automatic text check box.

Reestablish the links for all data series in the chart

  1. Click a chart sheet or an embedded chart to display the Chart menu.
  2. On the Chart menu, click Chart Options.
  3. On the Data Labels tab, select the Automatic text check box.

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Applies to:
Excel 2003