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Change Data Labels in Charts to Whatever you want [Quick Tip]

We all know that Chart Data Labels help us highlight important data points. When you “add data labels” to a chart series, excel can show either “category”. “series” or “data point values” as data labels.

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

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

  1. First 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.

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.

Share your Chart Formatting Tricks:

What are your favorite chart formatting tricks? My favorite tricks are using text boxes to add rich formatting to charts (example here ) and messing with fonts and colors (some rules here ).

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Category: Forex

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