Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Adding a Legend
Using the Format Data Labels dialog box, you can choose the data label’s position
(just like you could from the Chart Tools | Layout ➝ Labels ➝ Data Labels list). But
the options under the Label Contains heading are more interesting, as they let you
chose the information that appears in the label. Ordinarily, the information is
simply the value of the data point. However, you can also apply a combination of values.
Your exact options depend on the type of chart you’ve created, but here are the most
• Series name . The series name identifies the series each data point comes from.
Because most series have multiple data points, using this option means the same
text repeats again and again. In a line chart that compares sales between two
stores, using this option would put the label “Store 1” above each data point for
the first store, which is probably overkill.
• Category name . The category name adds the information from the category
axis. If you’re using a line chart to compare how sales fluctuated month by
month, then this option adds the month above every data point. Assuming you
have more than one line in your line chart, this option creates duplicate labels,
which crowds out the important information in your form. For that reason,
category labels don’t work very well with most charts, although you can use them
to replace the legend in a pie or donut chart.
• Value . Value labels insert the data that corresponds with a data point. This data
is the actual information in the corresponding cell in your worksheet. If you’re
plotting changing sales, this data is the dollar amount of sales for a given month.
Value labels are probably the most frequently used type of label.
• Percentage . Percentage labels apply only to pie charts and donut charts. They’re
similar to value labels, except they divide the value against the total of all values
to find a percentage.
Note: In some charts, the checkboxes “Category name” and “Value” are renamed as “X Value” and “Y
Value”, although they have the same effect as “Category name” and “Value.”
When you use multiple items, you can also choose a character from the Separator
list box to specify how to separate each piece of text in the full label (with a comma,
space, semicolon, new line, or a character you specify). And if you want to display a
mini square with the legend color next to the label, then choose “Include legend key
in label” (although most people don’t bother with this feature).
Figure 19-27 shows more advanced data labels at work.