by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 13, 2015)
When Rod tries to add data labels to a column chart (Chart Tools | Layout | Data Labels) the options displayed are None, Center, Inside End, and Inside Base. The option he wants is Outside End. There is a workaround which is to convert the chart to a pie chart, select the Outside End option from data labels, and convert the chart back to a column chart. Once converted back the Outside End option is displayed for the column chart. Rod wonders how he can avoid the workaround so the Outside End option is available when he first creates the column chart.
In doing some testing, it appears that what Rod may actually be working with is a stacked column chart and not a normal column chart. The reason I say this is that we could only replicate the problem if the chart type was stacked column; if it was a normal column chart, then the Outside End option was available, as expected.
If it is indeed the case that Rod is using a stacked column chart, then it makes sense that Excel wouldn't offer Outside End as that option wouldn't make a lot of sense—where would one expect Excel to display the labels for more than a single data series if the series are stacked into single columns?
If Rod double-checks and finds that the problem is really with column (not stacked) charts, then it could be that there is a problem with the workbook in which the charts are being created. This can be confirmed by creating a new workbook from scratch (not by copying data or worksheets) and then creating a column chart in that workbook. If the Outside End option is there—as it should be for a column chart—then you'll have a good indicator that the problem is with the other workbook itself.
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