Select individual chart elements on a chart

You can use the mouse to quickly select any of the individual chart elements that are displayed in your chart, such as the chart area, plot area, data series, axes, titles, data labels, or legend. However, if you are not sure where a specific element is located in the chart, you can select it from a list of chart elements. You can also select chart elements by using the keyboard. There is no way to select all chart elements at once.

For information about displaying specific chart elements, see the See Also list in this article. For information about how to format the chart elements that you select, see Change the format of chart elements.

What do you want to do?

Select a chart element by using the mouse

Select a chart element from a list of chart elements

Select a chart element by using the keyboard

Select a chart element by using the mouse

  • On a chart, click the chart element that you want to select.

    The element that you select will be clearly marked with selection handles.

    Tip: To help you locate the chart element that you want to select, Microsoft Office Excel displays an element name when you rest the pointer over a chart element.

Note: Grouped elements, such as data series and data labels, contain individual elements that can be selected after you select the group. For example, to select a single data marker in a data series, click a data marker one time to select the whole data series, and then click that data marker again to select just the data marker.

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Select a chart element from a list of chart elements

  1. Click anywhere in a chart.

    Tip: This displays the Chart Tools, adding the Design, Layout, and Format tabs.

  2. On the Format tab, in the Current Selection group, click the arrow next to the Chart Elements box, and then click the chart element that you want to select.

    Excel Ribbon Image

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Select a chart element by using the keyboard

You can select a chart by using the keyboard as follows:

Press

To

CTRL+PAGE DOWN or CTRL+PAGE UP

Select the next or previous sheet, repeating this action until the chart sheet that you want is selected.

After you select a chart, you can use the keyboard to select individual chart elements as follows:

Press

To

DOWN ARROW

Select the previous group of elements in a chart.

UP ARROW

Select the next group of elements in a chart.

RIGHT ARROW

Select the next element within a group. If the current element is the last element in the group, the next group is selected when you press the RIGHT ARROW. Press RIGHT ARROW again to select the first element in the next group.

LEFT ARROW

Select the previous element within a group. If the current element is the first element in the group, the previous group is selected when you press the LEFT ARROW. Press LEFT ARROW again to select the last element in the previous group.

ESC

Cancel a selection.

TAB

Navigate between the chart and any objects or shapes outside of the chart by selecting the next object or shape.

SHIFT+TAB

Navigate between the chart and any objects or shapes outside of the chart by selecting the previous object or shape.

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