Author: Oscar Cronquist Article last updated on October 09, 2018

The image above demonstrates data labels in a line chart, each data point in the chart series has a visible data label.

Edit data labels

Excel allows you to edit the data label value manually, simply click on a data label until it is selected. Click again to select the text, you can now type any value you want.

I changed the data label value to "Look here!".

You can link a group of data labels to a cell range so you don't need to edit each data label, read this article: Custom chart data labels

Customize data labels

You can easily change the font, font size, and font color. Simply select the data labels.

Go to tab "Home" on the ribbon if you are not already there.

The font and font size drop-down lists allow you to pick a font and size for your data labels, the "fill color" button lets you choose a background color and the "Font color" button lets you change the font color of the data labels.

The image above shows a grey background color, blue font color, and a different font.

Label contains

Double click with left mouse button on a data label series to open the settings pane.

Go to tab "Label Options" see image to the right.

The checkboxes let you select what values you want to use as data labels.

Value from cells - Lets you select a cell range that contains the values you want to use.

Series name - The name of the data series.

Category name - The same value as the x-axis value.

Value - The y-axis value (default).

Legend key - Color of the chart element (line, bar, column, etc..) of the data series.

Position

Double click with left mouse button on a data label series to open the settings pane.

Go to tab "Label Options" see image to the right.

You have here the option to change the data label position relative to the data point.

Center - This places the data label right on the data point.

Left - The data label is on the left side of the data point.

Right - The data label is on the right side of the data point.

Above - The data label is above the data point. (Default value)

Below - The data label is below the data point.

Number formatting

Double click with left mouse button on a data label series to open the settings pane.

Go to tab "Label Options" see image to the right.

This setting allows you to change the number formatting of the data labels.

The image below shows numbers formatted as dates.

Fill

Double click with left mouse button on a data label series to open the settings pane.

Go to tab "Fill & Line" and expand "Fill" settings, see image to the right.

These settings allow you to change the background to a solid fill, gradient fill, picture or texture fill, pattern fill, or Automatic.

Border

Double click with left mouse button on a data label series to open the settings pane.

Go to tab "Fill & Line" and expand "Border" settings, see image to the right.

These settings let you add and customize a border around the data labels.

Effects

Double click with left mouse button on a data label series to open the settings pane.

Go to tab "Effects", see image to the right.

These settings allow you to apply shadows, glow, soft edges and 3-D-Format to data labels.

Text direction

Double click with left mouse button on a data label series to open the settings pane.

Go to tab "Size & properties", see image to the right.

These settings let you chosse vertical alignment and text direction.