Edit titles or data labels in a chart

If your chart contains chart or axis titles (titles in charts: Descriptive text that is automatically aligned to an axis or centered at the top of a chart.) and 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 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.), you can edit their contents. You can edit titles and data labels that are not linked to worksheet data directly on the chart and use rich-text formatting to enhance their appearance. You can edit titles and data labels that are linked to worksheet data in the corresponding worksheet cells — changes that you make automatically appear in the titles and data labels on the chart, but you won't be able to use rich-text formatting. When you edit a linked title or data label on the chart, that title or data label will no longer be linked to the corresponding worksheet cell, and the changes that you make are not displayed in the worksheet. However, you can reestablish links between titles or data labels and worksheet cells.

After you finish editing the text, you can change the position of the data labels as needed.

 Note   To complete the following procedures a chart must have titles or data labels. For more information about how to add them, see Add or remove titles in a chart and Add or remove data labels in a chart.

What do you want to do?


Edit the contents of a title or data label on the chart

  1. On a chart, do one of the following:
    • To edit the contents of a title, click the chart or axis title that you want to change.
    • To edit the contents of a data label, click two times on the data label that you want to change.

 Note   The first click selects the data labels for the whole data series, and the second click selects the individual data label.

  1. Click again to place the title or data label in editing mode, drag to select the text that you want to change, type the new text or value.

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

  1. When you are finished editing, press ENTER.
  2. To format the text in the title or data label 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), which is a component of the Microsoft Office Fluent user interface. To format the whole title, you can right-click it, click Format Chart Title, and then select the formatting options that you want.

 Note   The size of the title or data label box adjusts to the size of the text. You cannot resize the title or data label box, and the text may become truncated if it does not fit in the maximum size. To accommodate more text, you may want to use a text box instead. For more information, see Add a text box to a chart.

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Edit the contents of a title or data label that is linked to data on the worksheet

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

 Note   The changes you made automatically appear on the chart.

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Reestablish the link between a title or data label and a worksheet cell

Links between titles or data labels and corresponding worksheet cells are broken when you edit their contents in the chart. To automatically update titles or data labels with changes that you make on the worksheet, you must reestablish the link between the titles or data labels and the corresponding worksheet cells. For data labels, you can reestablish a link one data series at a time, or for all data series at the same time.

 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 a chart or axis title

  1. On a chart, click the chart or axis title that you want to link to a corresponding 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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Reestablish the link for a data label

When you customize the contents of a data label on the chart, it is no longer linked to data on the worksheet. You can reestablish the link by resetting the label text for all labels in a data series, or you can type a reference to the cell that contains the data that you want to link to for each data point at a time.

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Reset label text

  1. On a chart, click one time or two times on the data label that you want to link to a corresponding worksheet cell.

 Note   The first click selects the data labels for the whole data series, and the second click selects the individual data label.

  1. Right-click the data label, and then click Format Data Label or Format Data Labels.
  2. Click Label Options if it's not selected, and then select the Reset Label Text check box.

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Reestablish a link to data on the worksheet

  1. On a chart, click the label that you want to link to a corresponding 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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Change the position of data labels

You can change the position of a single data label by dragging it. You can also place data labels in a standard position relative to their data markers. Depending on the chart type, you can choose from a variety of positioning options.

  1. On a chart, do one of the following:
    • To reposition all data labels for an entire data series, click a data label once to select the data series.
    • To reposition a specific data label, click that data label twice to select it.

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

  1. On the Layout tab, in the Labels group, click Data Labels, and then click the option that you want.

Excel Ribbon Image

 Tip   For additional data label options, click More Data Label Options, click Label Options if it's not selected, and then select the options that you want.

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