What Is a Chart Legend in Excel? (Detailed Analysis)

The chart legend reflects the data displayed on the Y-axis which is also known as series. By default, it will appear on the bottom or right side of the chart. The chart legend shows what kinds of data are represented in the chart. The main purpose of chart legend is to show the name and color of each series of data. This article will provide you with complete details about the chart legend in Excel. I hope you find it really interesting and informative.


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What Is a Chart Legend?

Chart Legend can be defined as the representation of data series on the chart. It shows what kinds of data are represented on the chart. For example, when you have several columns of data, They will be represented in different colors on the chart. These colors and series names are basically known as chart legends. Here, product 1, product 2, and product 3 along with those different colors will be the chart legend.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel


Steps to Create Chart in Excel

Before discussing chart legend in Excel, we need to create a chart. After that, we can show the overall picture of the chart legend in detail. To create a chart in Excel, we take a dataset that includes several countries and some product sales amounts.

Using this dataset, we need to create a chart. To do this, follow the following steps properly.

Steps

  • At first, select the range of cells B5 to E11.

  • Then, go to the Insert tab in the ribbon.
  • From the Charts section, select Recommended Charts.

  • Then, an Insert Chart dialog box will appear.
  • From there, select Clustered Column chart.
  • After that, click on OK.

  • As a result, it will provide us following chart. See the screenshot.

  • Then, if you want to modify the Chart Style, click on the Brush icon on the right side of the chart.
  • After that, select any of your preferred chart styles.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • Finally, we get the following chart. See the screenshot.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel


How to Add Chart Legend

As the chart legend shows the representation of chart data, we need to add the chart legend first. It is really an easy process to add a legend to a chart. To add a chart legend to a chart, we take the following dataset.

After that, create a chart using this dataset. When you have the final chart then we can add chart legend to that chart. Follow the steps carefully.

Steps

  • First, create the chart as we showed above.
  • Our final chart will be like the following chart by using the dataset.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • Now, to add a chart legend to that chart, you need to click on the Plus (+) icon on the right side of the chart.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • After clicking on that, you will get so many options.
  • From there, select the Legend option.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • Finally, we get the following chart with the legend on the bottom of it. See screenshot.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

Read More: How to Create Pie Chart Legend with Values in Excel


How to Modify Chart Legend in Excel

As the chart legend is an important element of any chart, you can modify this chart legend in Excel. This modification can be of various types like changing legend positions, editing legend names, changing font styles for legends, and so on. In this segment, we will try to discuss all possible modifications of chart legend in Excel. To show all the modifications, we take the following dataset.

After that, we need to create the chart from this dataset. Follow the process above where we discuss how to create a chart. By doing this, you will get the following chart where the legends will appear at the bottom of the chart.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

Now, using this chart and chart legends, we will try to cover all the possible modifications regarding chart legends.


1. Changing Chart Legend Positions

Our first modification of the chart legend is to change its position on the Excel chart. By default, the chart legend will be at the bottom or right side of the chart. But you change it and take it at the top or left side of the chart. To change the chart legend position, you need to follow the following steps carefully.

Steps

  • By default, our chart legend is at the bottom of the chart.
  • To modify this, click on the plus (+) icon on the right side of the chart which denotes the Chart Element.

  • Then, you will get lots of options. You need to find Legend from there.
  • Click on the black arrow beside the Legend option.
  • It will open up options to change legend positions.
  • By default, it is at the bottom. So, the bottom will be selected.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • Then, change the legend position from bottom to right on the chart.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • As a result, it will give us the following result. See the screenshot.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • Then, again you can unlock more legend positions by clicking on the More Options.

  • It will open up the Format Legend dialog box.
  • Then, in the Legend Position section, you will be more positions.

  • Another way, you can change the chart positions. To do this, click on anywhere on the chart.
  • It will enable the Chart Design option.
  • Then, from the Chart layouts group, select Add Chart Element drop-down option.

  • From the Add Chart Element drop-down option, select the Legend dropdown.
  • It will show all the possible positions for chart legend.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

Read More: How to Show Legend with Only Values in Excel Chart (with Quick Steps)


2. Editing Legend Names

Next, we can edit the legend names. Basically, we can modify the legend names that show on the chart. To do this follow the steps carefully.

Steps

  • At first, right-click on the chart.
  • A Context Menu will pop up.
  • Then, select the Select Data option.

  • The Select Data Source dialog box will appear.
  • Then, in the Legend Entries (Series) section, select Edit.

  • After that, the Edit Series dialog box will appear.
  • In the Series name section, set any name.
  • Finally, click on OK.

  • As a result, it will change in the Legend Entries (Series) section.

  • Edit the legend names for the others.
  • Finally, click on OK.

  • It will change all the legend names and set the new names on the chart. See the screenshot.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel


3. Altering Font Styles of Legends

You can edit font styles for chart legends. It basically shows how you want to represent your chart legend on the chart. Follow the steps carefully, to alter the font style for chart legends.

Steps

  • At first, right-click on the chart legend.
  • A Context Menu will appear.
  • From there, select the Font option.

  • Then, the Font dialog box will appear.
  • Set the font under Latin Text Font.
  • Then, change the Font Style to your preference. We use a Regular style.
  • From the Font Style section, change to Bold or Italic.
  • After that, change the size.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • Next, you can change the Font color.
  • Then, you can also alter the Underline Style.
  • Here, we set the underline style as none but you can set single, double, or dotted underline.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • In the Font dialog box, there is an Effects section where you can set any effects.
  • You can set effects like strikethrough, double strikethrough, superscript, subscript, and so on.

  • Then, move to the Character Spacing section at the top.
  • In the Spacing section, you can choose Normal if you don’t need any spacing.
  • Then, you can choose Expanded spacing if you require to increase spacing.
  • After that, you may choose Condensed spacing if you require to increase spacing.


4. Formatting Chart Legend

You can easily format the text of any chart legend. Here, you can change the vertical alignment, text direction, and custom angle. All of these will provide a new format for the chart legend. Follow the steps carefully.

Steps

  • At first, double-click on the chart legend text.
  • It will open up the Format Legend dialog box.
  • Then, select the Text Options from the top.
  • After that, select the Textbox option.
  • In the Text Box section, you’ll get the vertical alignment, text direction, and custom angle.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • By default, the text direction is in horizontal format.
  • But, you can change it and set another option from the list. It will set up the chart legend text accordingly.

Read More: How to Create a Legend in Excel without a Chart (3 Steps)


5. Customizing Chart Legend Text

Next, you can customize chart legend text by using shadow, reflection, and glow in the text. All of these will provide a fresh new chart legend. Follow the steps carefully.

Steps

  • At first, double-click on the chart legend text.
  • It will open up the Format Legend dialog box.
  • Then, select the Text Options from the top.
  • After that, select the Text Effects option.
  • In the Text Effects option, we’ll get the Shadow, Refection, and Glow options.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • By default, there is no shadow, reflection, or glow on the chart legend.
  • IF you want to include any of these items in your chart legend, you can do it from there.
  • The Shadow option will create a show of your chart legend where you can select the color of that shadow.

  • Then, the Reflection option will create a reflection of your chart legend text.
  • After that, the Glow option will provide you with different colors of glow on your chart legend.

Read More: How to Reorder Legend Without Changing Chart in Excel


6. Altering Fill and Line of Legends

Finally, you can change the fill and outline of your chart legend. Here, you can modify your text to no fill, solid fill, gradient fill, and picture fill. All of these fills will provide you with a new chart legend text.

Steps

  • At first, double-click on the chart legend text.
  • It will open up the Format Legend dialog box.
  • Then, select the Text Options from the top.
  • After that, select the Text Fill & Outline option.

  • Then, in the Text Fill section, you can select any fill such as solid fill, gradient fill, or texture fill.
  • After selecting the fill type, you can alter the color of that fill.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • Then, in the Text Outline section, you can select any outline.
  • After that, you can alter the Color and Width of that outline.


How to Remove Chart Legend in Excel

Next, if you want to remove the chart legend from the chart, you need to uncheck the legend. This process is fairly easy to use. To remove the chart legend, you need to follow the steps carefully.

Steps

  • At first, click on the plus (+) icon on the right side of the chart.

  • After clicking on the plus sign, you will get some more options to choose from.
  • From there, uncheck the Legend option.

What Is a Chart Legend in Excel

  • Finally, we will get the following chart without any legend on it. See the screenshot.


Things to Remember

  • Legend is connected to the data source
  • You can place a legend at the top, bottom, right, or left by clicking the plus (+) icon on the right side of the chart.
  • You can add or remove chart legend by clicking the plus (+) icon on the right side of the chart
  • By clicking the filter option, you can modify the legend name.

Conclusion

In this article, we tried to show the details of the chart legend in Excel. To discuss the chart legend in Excel, we have also covered how to add chart legend, how to remove chart legend, and also how to modify chart legend. All of these provide us with perfect details about chart legend. I hope you get everything about chart legend in this article. If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment box. Don’t forget to visit our Exceldemy page.


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