Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with a Chart’s Legend
Adding or removing a legend
To add a legend to a chart, activate the chart and click the Chart Elements button next the chart. This
will expand a menu of chart elements you can add to your chart. Place a check next to Legend.
The quickest way to remove a legend is to select it and press Delete.
Moving or resizing a legend
To move a legend, click it and drag it to the desired location. Alternatively, you can activate the chart,
click the Chart Elements button next the chart, and then click the arrow next to the Legend option to
choose any one of the predefined positions listed (Right, Top, Left, or Bottom). If you move a legend
from its default position, you may want to change the size of the plot area to fill in the gap left by the
legend. Just select the plot area and drag a border to make it the desired size.
To change the size of a legend, select it and drag any of its corners. Excel will adjust the legend
automatically and may display it in multiple columns.
Formatting a legend
You can select an individual legend entry within a legend and format it separately. For example, you
may want to make the text bold to draw attention to a particular data series. To select an element in
the legend, first select the legend and then click the desired entry.
You can’t change the formatting of individual characters in a legend entry. For example, if you’d like
the legend to display a superscript or subscript character, you’re out of luck.
When a single legend entry is selected, you can use the Format Legend Entry dialog box to format
the entry. When a legend entry is selected, and you apply any type of formatting except text
formatting, the formatting affects the legend key and the corresponding series. In other words, the
appearance of the legend key will always correspond to the data series.
You can’t use the Chart Elements drop-down list to select a legend entry. You must
either click the item or select the legend itself, and then press the right-arrow key until
the desired element is selected.
Changing the legend text
The legend text corresponds to the names of the series on the chart. If you didn’t include series
names when you originally selected the cells to create the chart, Excel displays a default series name
(Series 1, Series 2, and so on) in the legend.
To add series names, choose Chart Tools➜Design➜Select Data to display the Select Data Source
dialog box. Select the series name and click the Edit button. In the Edit Series dialog box, type the
series name or enter a cell reference that contains the series name. Repeat for each series that needs
naming. Alternatively, you can edit the SERIES formula, as described in Chapter 5.
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