Creating Custom Data Labels on Excel Charts (Excel 2010 Training)

if you want to have a data label that is altogether different, like this:

Custom Data Labels in Charts - an Example

You can change data labels and point them to different cells using this little trick.

  1. Data For Custom Chart Data LabelsFirst add data labels to the chart (Layout Ribbon > Data Labels)
  2. Define the new data label values in a bunch of cells, like this:
  3. Now, click on any data label. This will select “all” data labels. Now click once again. At this point excel will select only one data label.
  4. Go to Formula bar, press = and point to the cell where the data label for that chart data point is defined.
  5. Repeat the process for all other data labels, one after another. See the screencast.
    Set chart data labels to custom values - demo

Points to note:

  1. This approach works for one data label at a time. So if you have a large chart, you are in for a lot of clicks and manic mouse maneuvering.
  2. That brings us to Rob Bovey’s Chart Labeler Excel Add-in. This free tool can automate the whole custom chart labeling for you.
  3. If you want more formatting options, consider adding text boxes and point them to cells instead. See the smart chart legends post.


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