Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Turning the Legend On and Off.

Turning the Legend On and Off

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 23, 2020)

When you create a chart in Excel, the program may automatically create a chart legend, depending on the type of chart you created. You are not limited to the automatic decision, however. You have complete control over whether a legend is displayed on your chart. Follow these steps if you are using Excel in Office 365:

  1. Click once on the legend to select it. Handles should appear around the perimeter of the legend.
  2. Choose the Chart Design tab on the ribbon. (This tab is visible only when the legend or the chart is selected.)
  3. In the Chart Layouts group, click the Add Chart Element drop-down list.
  4. Click the Legend drop-down list.
  5. Choose None from the options in the drop-down list. (See Figure 1.)
  6. Figure 1. Removing the legend from a chart.

If you are using an older version of Excel, follow these steps:

  1. Click once on the legend to select it. Handles should appear around the perimeter of the legend.
  2. Choose the Layout tab on the ribbon. (This tab is visible only when the legend is selected.)
  3. In the Labels group, click the Legend drop-down list.
  4. Choose None from the options in the drop-down list.

An even easier way to delete the legend is to simply select the legend (step 1 in the above steps) and then press the Delete key. Excel is smart enough to know that you only want to get rid of the selected item—the legend.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (797) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Turning the Legend On and Off.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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