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: Formatting the Border of a Legend.

Formatting the Border of a Legend

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 23, 2017)

When you create a chart in Excel, the Wizard that you follow may create a chart legend, depending on the type of chart you are creating. Normally, the appearance of the legend will be acceptable for the type of chart you are creating. You have complete control, however, over how the legend appears.

One of the elements you can change is the type of border Excel places around the legend. To change the appearance of the legend's border, follow these steps:

  1. Click once on the legend to select it. Handles should appear around the perimeter of the legend.
  2. Choose Selected Legend from the Format menu. Excel displays the Format Legend dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Patterns tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Patterns tab of the Format Legend dialog box.

  5. Use the Style drop-down list to select a different border style for the legend.
  6. Use the Color drop-down list to change the color of the border.
  7. Use the Weight drop-down list to specify how heavy the border should appear.
  8. Use the Shadow check box to control if Excel adds a drop-shadow to the legend.
  9. Click on OK.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3197) 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: Formatting the Border of a Legend.

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. ...


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