Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Problems and limitations with data labels
If you would like to override a particular data label with other text, select the
label and enter the new text. To select an individual data label, click once to select
all the data labels; then click the specific data label to select it.
To link a selected data label to a cell: Click in the Formula bar; type an equal
sign ( ); click the cell that contains the text; press Enter. =
After adding data labels, you’ll often find that the data labels aren’t positioned
optimally. For example, one or more of the labels may be obscured by another data
point or a gridline. If you select an individual label, you can drag the label to a
better location.
Figure 4-34 shows two 3-D column charts with data labels. The data labels in the
top chart are in their default positions and are virtually illegible. The bottom chart
has undergone some formatting modification to make the data labels more legible.
Specifically:
The color of the Plot Area was changed to a lighter color to provide more
contrast.
The value axis scale was increased to provide more space for the data
labels.
The value axis gridlines were removed.
Bold formatting was applied to the data label font.
The location of each data label was manually adjusted.
You may notice that the data labels display the values for each data point.
For this particular chart, it would be preferable to display the value as a
percentage of the total. Unfortunately, the Percent option is available only
for a pie or doughnut chart. The alternative is to calculate the percentages
using formulas, and then plot the percentage data rather than the actual
value data.
Problems and limitations with data labels
As you work with data labels, you will probably discover that Excel’s data labels
feature leaves a bit to be desired. For example, it would be nice to be able to
specify a range of text to be used for the data labels. This would be particularly useful
in XY charts in which you want to identify each data point with a particular text
item. Figure 4-35 shows an XY chart. If you would like to apply data labels to
identify each data point, you’re out of luck.
Despite what must amount to thousands of requests, Microsoft still has not
added this feature to Excel! You need to add data labels and then manually edit
each label.
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