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Adding, editing, and removing legends

From: Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

Video: Adding, editing, and removing legends

Although most charts should contain legends to help explain what the chart elements refer to, there are times when you want to remove a legend, particularly if there is only one series--you might have that same information embedded in a title. You also need to know how to edit a legend, how to move it around, or reposition it anywhere on the chart you might wish, or possibly put it under or above the chart. There are a number of different ways to do this. You do have control over the legend. In the chart that we are seeing right here, a legend is in it's most customary position on the right-hand side of a chart.

Adding, editing, and removing legends

Although most charts should contain legends to help explain what the chart elements refer to, there are times when you want to remove a legend, particularly if there is only one series--you might have that same information embedded in a title. You also need to know how to edit a legend, how to move it around, or reposition it anywhere on the chart you might wish, or possibly put it under or above the chart. There are a number of different ways to do this. You do have control over the legend. In the chart that we are seeing right here, a legend is in it's most customary position on the right-hand side of a chart.

Now remember, when you do select a chart you have an option here are on the Layout tab, if you go to Legend-- it's in the Labels group here--to reposition the legend at various locations here. This is certainly one approach. Let's put it on top. See how that looks. Maybe that looks pretty good, so we'll come back up here again, Show Legend at left. Less common by far, Bottom, and Overlay legend, don't forget these two. I think most of the times you're not going to want these, but you can easily make sense out of what these choices give us.

I am going to put it on top this time. There. Now no matter where it is, there certainly are times we say, well, I kind of like it there, but maybe I want to put a title on top of it. Can we move this? As you point at any of the edges, you can just--well, I will drag here maybe. Now you see that's overlapping the gridlines and when you click outside of it, maybe that's not so bad, but while we are here you could possibly also right-click on it and then format the legend. Possibly give it a background color. You could fill it there. Lots of options here. We could choose maybe just a solid fill. Maybe that's a good color, maybe not, but you can certainly make some other choices here and proceed with the legend looking like that.

We don't always need to reformat. Also, you can resize this by dragging one of its corners. Now again, I am not saying this is better, but if we make it narrower, it's going to wrap the legend this way or that way. Sometimes either you mistakenly got rid of a legend or for whatever reason maybe you did want to get rid of it temporarily or something like that. You can easily bring back the legend not only by a way of the Legend button here in this Labels group on the Layout tab, but also on the Design tab of the Ribbon, Chart Layouts.

So here's a legend on the right. This technique does give us the capability of setting up other features as well, primarily titles. So here is a legend with a title on top, and so on. Quite a few choices here and five of these, at least five, are showing a legend on the right-hand side. Again, the most common choice, but if you like this one with the legend on top-- actually this one doesn't have a legend. It has it buried on the right with text. That's not the one we want. If you're familiar with this and have used this, of course this is a way to go. Maybe we will start here. So quite a few different choices to get the legend in place, and remember no matter where it is, you can move it around your own way.

If you do move it as I'm doing it here, do not expect the plot area to change. You could certainly leave this open space on the right. If you click inside the plot area here, which is a little tricky to do with all these grid lines, and you might have to go to the Layout tab to do this, Plot area, you could resize the plot area manually. So I am not suggesting this is a make-work project, but you do have control over the placement of the legend. You can put it anywhere you want, and it's easy to add it, take it out, reposition it, as necessary.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2007: Charts in Depth
Excel 2007: Charts in Depth

53 video lessons · 9306 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
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  1. 1m 49s
    1. Welcome
      1m 3s
    2. Using the exercise files
      46s
  2. 22m 7s
    1. Identifying chart elements like plot area, chart area, gridlines, and legends
      5m 3s
    2. Selecting the right chart type
      8m 2s
    3. Understanding chart terminology
      6m 31s
    4. Understanding the Ribbon and the Design, Layout, and Format tabs
      2m 31s
  3. 16m 24s
    1. Selecting data to display as a chart
      6m 17s
    2. Creating charts instantly with shortcuts
      4m 33s
    3. Creating charts with standard menu commands
      2m 24s
    4. Creating presentation-ready charts with just a few adjustments
      3m 10s
  4. 28m 8s
    1. Switching rows and columns for a different view of the data
      3m 9s
    2. Setting a default chart type and creating a template
      3m 47s
    3. Dealing with empty and hidden cells
      4m 18s
    4. Choosing a chart layout
      4m 33s
    5. Choosing a chart style from 48 colorful variations
      3m 34s
    6. Changing the location of a chart
      3m 33s
    7. Moving and resizing a chart
      5m 14s
  5. 11m 25s
    1. Using pictures as chart elements
      3m 55s
    2. Adding shapes and arrows
      3m 37s
    3. Adding floating text and text boxes
      3m 53s
  6. 33m 45s
    1. Adding, editing, and removing chart titles
      3m 15s
    2. Adding horizontal and vertical titles
      3m 56s
    3. Linking titles to content
      2m 32s
    4. Showing numbers of different scales
      4m 38s
    5. Specifying the position of tick marks and axis labels
      2m 41s
    6. Changing the numeric format on labels
      5m 34s
    7. Adding, editing, and removing legends
      3m 19s
    8. Adding and editing data labels
      4m 40s
    9. Showing the source of a chart's data
      3m 10s
  7. 8m 13s
    1. Modifying axis scaling
      3m 50s
    2. Working with gridlines
      4m 23s
  8. 12m 53s
    1. Analyzing existing and future data with trendlines
      4m 2s
    2. Adding drop lines
      3m 14s
    3. Adding high-low lines and up-down bars
      1m 39s
    4. Adding error bars
      3m 58s
  9. 9m 13s
    1. Selecting shape fill and outline
      3m 3s
    2. Adding shape effects
      3m 19s
    3. Applying WordArt styles
      2m 51s
  10. 16m 33s
    1. Formatting lines and borders
      4m 24s
    2. Filling an area with a color gradient
      2m 7s
    3. Specifying line style, color, and weight
      2m 46s
    4. Working with chart text
      3m 40s
    5. Changing the rotation of chart text
      3m 36s
  11. 38m 39s
    1. Using column and bar charts
      7m 24s
    2. Using line charts
      5m 46s
    3. Using pie charts
      8m 37s
    4. Using area, stock, and XY charts
      9m 3s
    5. Using doughnut, bubble, and radar charts
      7m 49s
  12. 10m 55s
    1. Pasting new data into a chart
      2m 58s
    2. Creating charts from multiple data sources
      3m 39s
    3. Adding new data using a table
      4m 18s
  13. 6m 19s
    1. Printing charts
      6m 19s
  14. 19s
    1. Next steps
      19s

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