Display or hide data label leader lines in a pie chart

By default, when you add 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 datasheet cell.) to the data points (data points: Individual values plotted in a chart and represented by bars, columns, lines, pie or doughnut slices, dots, and various other shapes called data markers. Data markers of the same color constitute a data series.) in a pie chart, leader lines are displayed for data labels that are positioned far outside the end of data points. Leader lines create a visual connection between a data label and its corresponding data point. You can change the color and style of the leader lines and show or hide them as needed.

Pie chart with data labels and leader lines

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Display data labels in a pie chart

  1. In a pie chart, click 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.) or the data point for which you want to display data labels, or do the following to select it from a list of chart elements.
    1. Click a chart.

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

  1. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click the arrow next to the Chart Elements box, and then click the chart element that you want to use.

Excel Ribbon

  1. On the Layout tab, in the Labels group, click Data Labels, and then click an option that positions all or some of the data labels outside the end of the data points.

Excel Ribbon Image

 Tip   For example, click Outside End or Best Fit. You can also click More Data Label Options, and then specify the options that you want in the Label Options category.

 Note   If you do not see leader lines, drag the data labels to position them farther away from the outside end of their corresponding data points.

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Change the color and style of leader lines

  1. Click a pie chart that has data labels and leader lines displayed.

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

  1. Click one of the leader lines that you want to change.

This automatically selects all leader lines.

  1. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click Format Selection.

Excel Ribbon

  1. In the Format Leader Lines dialog box, do the following:
    • To change the color of leader lines, click Line Color, and then click the option that you want.
    • To change the style of leader lines, click Line Style, and then select the line style options that you want.

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Show or hide leader lines

  1. Click a pie chart that has data labels displayed.

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

  1. On the Layout tab, in the Labels group, click Data Labels.

Excel Ribbon Image

  1. Click More Data Label Options.
  2. In the Label Options category, under Label Contains, select or clear the Show Leader Lines check box to show or hide the leader lines.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007