Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Adding Data Labels to Your Chart.

Adding Data Labels to Your Chart

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 30, 2015)

Data labels are used to indicate what the main part of the chart represents. Depending on the type of chart you are creating, data labels can mean quite a bit. For instance, if you are formatting a pie chart, the data can be more difficult to understand if you don't include data labels.

To add data labels, follow these steps:

  1. Activate the chart by clicking on it, if necessary.
  2. Choose Chart Options from the Chart menu. Excel displays the Chart Options dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Data Labels tab is selected. (See Figure 1.) The left side of the dialog box shows the different types of data labels you can choose. (The available types will vary, depending on the type of chart you are using.)
  4. Figure 1. The Data Labels tab of the Chart Options dialog box.

  5. There are five different basic types of data labels from which you can choose. Each of them represents a different combination of using the data value, a percentage, or a label as the actual data label. Select the option that best reflects what you want to do. As you make choices, notice that the preview chart is updated according to your selections.
  6. Click on OK. Your chart is updated as you directed.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2840) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Adding Data Labels to Your Chart.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Converting Text Case

Ever notice that if someone types in all CAPS, it appears they are shouting? If your worksheets include lots of text, you may ...

Discover More

Eliminating "Before Spacing" at the Top of a Page

When formatting paragraphs in Word, you have several options to adjust the spacing before, within, and at the end of each ...

Discover More

Counting Fields in a Document

Need to count the number of times a particular field appears in a document? It's easy to do when you apply the techniques ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Modifying Axis Scale Labels

You want your chart to display information as clearly and succinctly as possible. Modifying the labels used to indicate the ...

Discover More

Setting a Transparent Color for an Image

Want to "see through" an image you place on a worksheet? You can do so by using the steps in this tip.

Discover More

Moving Drawing Objects

Add a drawing object to a worksheet and chances are good you'll need to move it in some way. Here's how to use the mouse to ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 2 + 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.