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Chart Data Labels - Format Number Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to format Chart Data Labels (numbers) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2011
OS: Mac OS X







In PowerPoint, you can use category names, series names, or values as Data Labels within charts -- more often than not, most charts show values as Data Labels -- and values denote numbers! When you use numbers as Data Labels, you may want to format them for several reasons such as limiting or expanding the number of decimal digits shown, or including the currency symbol along with the values, or show the value in percentage etc. By default, PowerPoint just shows numbers without any formatting, as shown in Figure 1, below.

Default Data Labels
Figure 1: Default Data Labels

Since all data for a chart in PowerPoint comes from Excel, you can format the Data Labels within Excel itself, but that approach will cause the entire values within the chart to follow the same formatting -- including the axes! Fortunately, you can format the values used within only the Data Labels in PowerPoint 2011. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Select the chart -- this displays the Chart Layout and Format tabs on the Ribbon area -- select the Chart Layout tab, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 2. Within the Chart Layout tab, click the Data Labels button (highlighted in blue within Figure 2) to open the Data Labels menu. Within the Data Labels menu select Data Label Options as shown in Figure 2.

    Select the Data Label Options
    Figure 2: Select the Data Label Options

    Alternatively, select the Data Labels for a Data Series in your chart and right-click (Ctrl+click) to bring up a contextual menu -- from this menu, choose the Format Data Labels option as shown in Figure 3.

    Select the Format Data Labels option
    Figure 3: Select the Format Data Labels option

  2. Either of the above options will summon the Format Data Labels dialog box -- make sure that the Number option is selected within the sidebar as shown highlighted in red within Figure 4.

    Number option within Format Data Labels dialog box
    Figure 4: Number option within Format Data Labels dialog box

  3. When you select the Number option, initially you will see that all options are greyed out as shown in Figure 4, above. To make them active, just deselect the Linked to source check-box that you can see highlighted in blue within Figure 4, above. This will make all options active, as shown in Figure 5.

    Linked to the source check-box deselected
    Figure 5: Linked to the source check-box deselected

    Out of various Number formats that you can see within Category list in Figure 5 above, most commonly used formats are Number, Currency, Accounting, and Percentage. Let us explore these options one by one:

    1. Number: This option is used to display the numbers in general format. Select the Number option within the Category list to access the options that you can see in Figure 6.

      Number format options within the Format Data Labels dialog box
      Figure 6: Number format options within the Format Data Labels dialog box

      The options that you get within Number format are:

      • Decimal places: You can decide the number of decimal places you want to show in the Data Labels. Type within the box the number of decimal places to be shown, or use the up and down arrows.

      • Use 1000 Separator (,): Select this check-box to use a comma to group the digits in thousands.

      • Negative numbers: Here, select a format in which you want the negative numbers to be displayed.

    2. Currency: This format is used to display monetary values. Here you will find Decimal places, Currency symbol, and Negative numbers options, as shown in Figure 7.

      Currency format options within the Format Data Labels dialog box
      Figure 7: Currency format options within the Format Data Labels dialog box

      Decimal places and Negative numbers options work similarly as they do with Number format. Currency symbol selection box (highlighted in red within Figure 7, above) provides you with various currency symbols to be shown as part of Data Labels.

    3. Accounting: Formats the Data Labels to include the currency symbol and also specified number of decimal digits.

    4. Percentage: Multiplies the values by 100 and displays the results along with a percentage symbol and specified number of decimal digits, as Data Labels.

  4. Select the options and format your Data Labels as required. When done, click the OK button to get back to your slide. In Figure 8, you can see our sample chart after we formatted the Data Labels (compare Figures 1 and 8).

    Sample chart with formatted Data Labels
    Figure 8: Sample chart with formatted Data Labels

  5. Save your presentation.

 

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