Author: Oscar Cronquist Article last updated on February 21, 2019

custom data labels in a chart1

You can easliy change data labels in a chart. Select a single data label and enter a reference to a cell in the formula bar. You can also edit data labels, one by one, on the chart.

With many data labels the task becomes quickly boring and time consuming. But wait, there is a third option using a duplicate series on a secondary axis.

Note! Before you continue reading. If you own excel 2013 or a later version you don't have to do the work-around presented below, just enable "Add values from cells" in "Format Data Labels" settings and select a cell range.

The animated image above shows you dynamic custom data labels. Here is how you build them.

Create a chart

  1. Select a cell range
  2. Go to "Insert" tab
  3. Click "Column" button
  4. Select the first 2-D Column chart

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Add another series to the chart

  1. Right click on chart
  2. Click Select data
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  3. Click "Add" button
  4. Select a series name, cell C2
  5. Select series values, C3:C8
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  6. Click Ok
  7. Click Ok

Plot series on the secondary axis

  1. Click the second series on the chart
  2. Right click on a "second series" column
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  3. Click "Format Data Series..."
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  4. Select "Secondary Axis"
  5. Click Close

The following article shows you another trick using the secondary axis in a way it wasn't intended to do:

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Change the second series data source

  1. Right click on the chart
  2. Click "Select Data"
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  3. Select the second series
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  4. Click "Edit" button (Horizontal (Category) Axis Labels)
  5. Select cell range D3:D8
  6. Click OK
  7. Click OK

Add data labels

  1. Right click on a column
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  2. Click "Add Data Labels"
  3. Double click a data label
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  4. Deselect Value
  5. Select Category name
  6. Click Close

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Download excel *.xlsx file

Custom data labels in a chartv3.xlsx

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