Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Working with Data Labels
Figure 7-34: Excel provides no direct way to add descriptive data labels to the data points.
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.
A few utility add-ins are available, which allow you to specify an arbitrary range of text
to be used for data labels. One such product is Power Utility Pak, available from John
Walkenbach’s website ( http://spreadsheetpage.com ).
As you work with data labels, you’ll find that this feature works best for series that contain a relatively
small number of data points. The chart in Figure 7-35, for example, contains 24 data points. You can’t
display all the data labels on this chart and keep the chart legible.
Figure 7-35: Data labels don’t work well for this chart.
One option is to delete some of the individual data labels. For example, you might want to delete all
the data labels except those at the high and low points of the series. Deleting only certain data labels
is, however, a manual process. To delete an individual data label, select it and press Delete. Using
gridlines provides another way to let the reader discern the values for the data points. Yet another
alternative is to use a data table, which is described in the next section.