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In this course, Dennis Taylor shows how to analyze and communicate the value of data with charts in Excel. The course starts with the foundations: what the parts of a chart are, what the different types of charts are, and which charts work best for your data. The course then shows how to create a presentation-ready chart in minutes and offers dozens of in-depth tutorials on formatting and fine-tuning charts so they represent data clearly and accurately.
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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