Advanced Excel - Richer Data Labels


You can have aesthetic and meaningful Data Labels. You can

  • include rich and refreshable text from data points or any other text in your data labels
  • enhance them with formatting and additional freeform text
  • display them in just about any shape

Data labels stay in place, even when you switch to a different type of chart.

You can also connect them to their data points with Leader Lines on all charts and not just pie charts, which was the case in earlier versions of Excel.

Formatting Data Labels

We use a Bubble Chart to see the formatting of Data Labels.

Step 1 − Select your data.

Step 2 − Click on the Insert Scatter or the Bubble Chart.

Bubble Chart

The options for the Scatter Charts and the 2-D and 3-D Bubble Charts appear.

Bubble Chart Appear

Step 3 − Click on the 3-D Bubble Chart. The 3-D Bubble Chart will appear as shown in the image given below.

3-D Bubble Chart

Step 4 − Click on the chart and then click on Chart Elements.

Step 5 − Select Data Labels from the options. Select the small symbol given on the right of Data Labels. Different options for the placement of the Data Labels appear.

Step 6 − If you select Center, the Data Labels will be placed at the center of the Bubbles.

Select Data Labels

Step 7 − Right-click on any one Data Label. A list of option appears as shown in the image given below.

Data Labels Appear

Step 8 − Click on the Format Data Label. Alternatively, you can also click on More Options available in the Data Labels options to display the Format Data Label Task Pane.

Format Data Label Options

The Format Data Label Task Pane appears.

Format Data Labels Appear

There are many options available for formatting of the Data Label in the Format Data Labels Task Pane. Make sure that only one Data Label is selected while formatting.

Step 9 − In Label Options → Data Label Series, click on Clone Current Label.

Clone Current Label

This will enable you to apply your custom Data Label formatting quickly to the other data points in the series.

Look of the Data Labels

You can do many things to change the look of the Data Label, like changing the Fill color of the Data Label for emphasis.

Step 1 − Click on the Data Label, whose Fill color you want to change. Double click to change the Fill color for just one Data Label. The Format Data Label Task Pane appears.

Step 2 − Click Fill → Solid Fill. Choose the Color you want and then make the changes.

Step 3 − Click Effects and choose the required effects. For example, you can make the label pop by adding an effect. Just be careful not to go overboard adding effects.

Step 4 − In the Label Options → Data Label Series, click on Clone Current Label. All the other data labels will acquire the same effect.

Data Label Effects

Shape of a Data Label

You can personalize your chart by changing the shapes of the Data Label.

Step 1 − Right-click the Data Label you want to change.

Step 2 − Click on Change Data Label Shapes.

Change Data Label Shapes

Step 3 − Choose the shape you want.

Choose Data Label Shapes

Resize a Data Label

Step 1 − Click on the data label.

Step 2 − Drag it to the size you want. Alternatively, you can click on Size & Properties icon in the Format Data Labels task pane and then choose the size options.

Resize Data Label

Add a Field to a Data Label

Excel 2013 has a powerful feature of adding a cell reference with explanatory text or a calculated value to a data label. Let us see how to add a field to the data label.

Step 1 − Place the Explanatory text in a cell.

Step 2 − Right-click on a data label. A list of options will appear.

Add Field Data Label

Step 3 − Click on the option − Insert Data Label Field.

Insert Data Label Field

Step 4 − From the available options, Click on Choose Cell. A Data Label Reference window appears.

Data Label Reference

Step 5 − Select the Cell Reference where the Explanatory Text is written and then click OK. The explanatory text appears in the data label.

Step 6 − Resize the data label to view the entire text.

Resize Data Label Fields