Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 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: Unselecting a Chart Item.

Unselecting a Chart Item

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated September 12, 2020)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365


Excel includes a very powerful charting feature. As you work with charting your data, it is not unusual to select different objects and then use the various formatting features of Excel to make that object look exactly as you want it to. You select chart objects by simply clicking on the object with the mouse.

If you select an object by mistake, you can easily undo that selection by simply selecting a different object. If you don't want to select a different object, but instead want to "deselect" the item you selected, all you need to do is press the Esc key. Excel obediently cancels whatever selection you made.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9816) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Unselecting a Chart Item.

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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