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Adding Data Labels to a Chart

The Data Labels section of the Chart Wizard shown below allows you to add labels to each point on your chart to show information like the value or percentage. This is especially useful in Pie Charts where it is often helpful to label the sections with details of the category and maybe the percentage it represents as well.

If you choose the option for a Legend key next to label, Excel will mark each label with part of the line for that series. This can help you distinguish one label from another when you have two different series and two values very close to each other.

If you want to modify the data labels after you have created the chart you should click anywhere on the chart and then click on the Chart drop-down menu and choose Chart Options.  Click on the Data Labels tab at the top of the window that appears and you will be able to remove existing labels or add new ones.  You can format the data labels by clicking any label to select the whole group of labels and then either click the Format icon on the Chart Toolbar or click your right mouse button over the selected labels and choose Format Data Labels from the menu that appears as below.

When the Format Data Labels window appears you can set the colour, font, alignment and number format of your labels.  For instance, by clicking on the Number tab you could label your chart with signs or show numbers to a certain number of decimal places.

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