Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Using Chart Titles.

Using Chart Titles

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated October 4, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Pretty graphics in a chart may look nice at first, but graphics alone seldom convey the entire message desired. Without titles, many charts would be cryptic at best and useless at worst. Titles add purpose and meaning to your chart. Excel allows you to add several different types of titles.

You should note that the titles available for any given chart will vary, depending on the type of chart you are using. For instance, the only type of title available with a pie chart is the chart title itself. Since there are no X, Y, and Z axes on a pie chart, there are no titles available for them.

To insert titles, follow these steps:

  1. Activate the chart by clicking on it, if necessary.
  2. Display the Layout tab of the ribbon.
  3. In Labels group, click the Chart Title tool. You'll see options that indicate where the chart title can appear; you should pick one. The title appears in your chart.
  4. In the Labels group, click the Axis Titles tool if it is available. You'll see options that indicate the axis titles you can display. Choose the options appropriate for your needs. The selected axis titles appear in your chart.
  5. Within the chart itself, click within a title box and modify the title text as desired.

To change the text contained within a title, you can always follow these same steps again. There is an easier, more direct way to change title text, however. All you need to do is click on the title. The title is selected and surrounded with a box and handles. When you move the mouse pointer inside the box, it changes to an insertion point. Click the mouse pointer once to edit the text.

Notice that if you press Enter, the cursor only moves to the next line; you are still adding to the title. To signify that you are finished entering title text, you must use the mouse pointer to select some other part of your chart or worksheet.

When you add titles to your chart, Excel places them in a position it feels is best for the title. Thus, an axis title will be centered on the axis. You can move titles very easily, however. To do this, use the mouse to select the title text. When you do, it becomes surrounded with a box and handles. Use the mouse to point to the border around the title. Press and hold down the mouse button. As you move the mouse, the title is also moved. When you release the mouse button, the title remains at the new location.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6609) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Using Chart Titles.

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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