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: Adding Data Labels to Your Chart.

Adding Data Labels to Your Chart

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 27, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Data labels are used to indicate what the main part of the chart represents. Depending on the type of chart you are creating, data labels can mean quite a bit. For instance, if you are formatting a pie chart, the data can be more difficult to understand if you don't include data labels.

To add data labels in Excel 2007 or Excel 2010, follow these steps:

  1. Activate the chart by clicking on it, if necessary.
  2. Make sure the Layout tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. Click the Data Labels tool. Excel displays a number of options that control where your data labels are positioned.
  4. Select the position that best fits where you want your labels to appear.

To add data labels in Excel 2013 or later versions, follow these steps:

  1. Activate the chart by clicking on it, if necessary.
  2. Make sure the Design tab of the ribbon is displayed. (This will appear when the chart is selected.)
  3. Click the Add Chart Element drop-down list.
  4. Select the Data Labels tool. Excel displays a number of options that control where your data labels are positioned.
  5. Select the position that best fits where you want your labels to appear.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6788) 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: Adding Data Labels to Your Chart.

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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