How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart

How to Add Legend in Excel Chart

In today’s tutorial, we’re going to talk about how to add a legend in an Excel chart. Including a legend in a chart makes it easy to understand and it’s a great way to explain the data clearly.

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In previous tutorials, we had a look at how to create various types of charts and graphs. Now we’ll move a bit further and have a look at how to add a legend to this pie chart.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - How to Add a Legend to Pie Chart

Let’s crack on!

How to Display the Legend for a Chart

If you want to display the legend for a chart, first click anywhere within the chart area. Then click on the green plus sign which you can see on the outside of the top right corner of the chart area border.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - How to Display a Legend

Here Excel offers a list of handy chart elements. Tick the option ‘Legend’ and Excel will display the legend right away.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - Chart Elements - Option Legend

By clicking on this black arrow, you’ll also see the options where (within the chart area) you can place the legend. Choose the one which suits you best – whether it is on the right, at the top, on the left or at the bottom of the chart.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - options where to place the legend

We’ll go for the option ‘Bottom’.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - Bottom Option

What’s good to know is that Excel takes the information you see in the legend directly from the data table that was used to create the chart.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - Excel takes the information in the legend directly from the data table

If we change any detail in the table, let’s say we replace ‘January’ with ‘December’, the legend will immediately reflect the change, which is great, because that means your chart will always be up to date!

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - Changing January to December

And let’s have a look at a few more features!

How to Format the Legend

To format the legend, right-click on it and through this quick menu, you can change the fill and the outline of the legend.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - How to Change Formatting

Through Font, you can choose a font size and style, pick a colour to your liking or even make use of various effects.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - How to Format the Legend

We’ll go for Arial, size 11, font colour set to automatic (which is black), we’ll click on OK and here we go! Just as we wanted.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - Legend Formated

How to Remove the Legend from the Chart

Finally, if you decide to remove the legend from the chart, click into the chart area again, then click on the green plus sign and simply unselect ‘Legend’.

How to Add a Legend in an Excel Chart - How to remove the legend

And that’s all it takes!

If you’re interested to see how to add and format other chart elements, check out the links to more tutorials in the list below!

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Thanks for watching and I’ll see you in the next tutorial!

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