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Excel Tip: How to Display Data Labels on a Microsoft Excel Chart

Microsoft Excel charts are a great way to display data in a visual fashion. When there are a lot of data, the information can be overwhelming and difficult to determine values. Display data labels and Excel charts become crystal clear.

Microsoft Excel charts can often be difficult to read. When numbers are close in range, it can make it impossible to determine the difference between numbers. Display data labels on an Excel chart and the information becomes very clear.

Follow these steps to add data labels to the chart.

Excel 2003 (and earlier):

Simply right-click on the data and select "Format Data Series" from the shortcut window.

In the "Format Data Series" window, click on the "Data Labels" tab.

Select the "Values" check-box and press the "OK" button to save the changes and close the window.

Excel 2007:

Right-click on the data and select "Format Data Labels" from the shortcut window.

Select the "Value" check-box on the "Label Options" tab.

Press the "OK" button to save the changes and close the window.

Adding the data labels on an Excel chart now allows for a clear view of all data.

For those not familiar with charts in Excel, here are quick instructions on adding charts.

Excel 2003 (and earlier):

Place the cursor in any cell within the data you wish to use for the chart.

Click on the "Insert" menu and select the "Chart" option.

The "Chart Wizard" opens. Following the instructions on the screen, make the selections you want and continue to the next screen by pressing the "Next" button.

Once the chart is created, you may follow the steps above to add data labels to the chart.

HINT: Within the "Chart Wizard," click on the "Data Labels" tab on Step 3 to select "Values." Doing this displays the data labels prior to the creation of the chart and there is no need for using the steps described above.

Excel 2007:

Place the cursor in any cell within the data you wish to use for the chart.

Click on the "Insert" tab and select the chart type of your choice in the "Chart" group.

The chart is created and you may follow the steps above to add data labels.

I hope this Excel Tip helps create easy to read charts.

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