Labeling Data In Graphs

Looking back and forth from the data being reported to a data legend makes it difficult to easily identify the data in your charts.

Data Labels - Don't

A simple fix for this is:

  1. Point your cursor at the end of the data series (line on the graph).
  2. Double click until only the last data point is highlighted.
  3. Right click and select “Add Data Label.”
  4. The value of the data point will display and you can edit it to make a label for the line by clicking inside the box, delete the value and type in your description. This does not change the actual value in any way.

By appending the line it makes it much easier for the viewer to see the data being reported. I also will add as much detail as I can to the chart title and color code it (if it makes sense).

Do Over:

Data Labels - Do

This Post Has One Comment

  1. jonmcrawford

    Good tip, don’t know why I always went the hard road and added them all then deleted the ones I didn’t want. D’oh!

    Also handy when you want to highlight specific points in a graph, for instance if you wanted to mark Jan-11 in your example to show that the Budget was higher than Actual (different from the rest of the data points). If there are multiples, and it’s hard to tell which is which, I tend to format the label font the same color as the series to make it easy to tell which label goes with which data.

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