Add data labels to a chart

Data labels make a chart easier to understand because they show details about a data series or its individual data points. For example, in the pie chart below, without the data labels it would be difficult to tell that coffee was 38% of total sales. Depending on what you want to highlight on a chart, you can add labels to one series, all the series (the whole chart), or one data point.

Pie chart with data labels formatted as percentages

  1. Click the data series or chart. To label one data point, after clicking the series, click that data point.

  2. In the upper right corner, next to the chart, click Chart Elements Chart Elements button > Data Labels.

    Data label options under Chart Elements
  3. To change the location, click the arrow, and choose an option.

  4. If you want to show your data label inside a text bubble shape, click Data Callout.

    Pie chart with data callouts

To make data labels easier to read, you can move them inside the data points or even outside of the chart. To move a data label, drag it to the location you want.

If you decide the labels make your chart look too cluttered, you can remove any or all of them by clicking the data labels and then pressing Delete.

Tip: If the text inside the data labels is too hard to read, resize the data labels by clicking them, and then dragging them to the size you want.

Change what is displayed in the data labels

  1. Right-click the data series or data label to display more data for, and then click Format Data Labels.

  2. Click Label Options and under Label Contains, pick the options you want.

    Label Options part of Format Data Label pane

Tip: You can change the look of the data labels, add connecting lines, create a custom data label, or change the position of the data labels.

Change the text displayed in the data labels

  1. Click the data label with the text to change and then click it again, so that it's the only data label selected.

  2. Select the existing text and then type the replacement text.

  3. Click anywhere outside the data label.

Tip: If you want to add a comment about your chart or have only one data label, you can use a textbox.

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