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Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2013

Learn about Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2013.


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Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2013
OS: Windows 7 and 8







The Legend within a chart is one of those chart elements that lets you identify all the Series in a chart via color or pattern. Typically, the Legend is a box or area with swatches -- Figure 1 shows a default chart created in PowerPoint 2013 where you can see the Legend at the bottom (highlighted in red). In this particular example, the Legend captions Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 are identified with different colors so that you can follow which Series each of the columns in that chart represent.

Legend at the bottom of chart area
Figure 1: Legend at the bottom of chart area

The Legend can be placed at various locations within the chart area, and you can hide it altogether. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. You first need to have a chart in your presentation. Learn how to insert a chart in PowerPoint 2013. Now select the chart to activate the Chart Tools tabs on the Ribbon, -- select the Chart Tools Design tab as shown in Figure 2 (highlighted in red).

    Chart Tools Design tab selected
    Figure 2: Chart Tools Design tab selected

    Note: The Chart Tools Design tab is a contextual tab. These tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time -- they only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.


  2. Within the Chart Tools Design tab, click the Add Chart Element button (highlighted in blue within Figure 2) to bring up a drop-down gallery (see Figure 3) -- within this drop-down gallery select the Legend option as shown in Figure 3 (highlighted in red). This opens the Legend sub-gallery which includes various position options for the Chart Legend (refer to Figure 3 again).

    Legend sub-gallery
    Figure 3: Legend sub-gallery

    There is another easier way to access the Legend options. Select the chart and click the Chart Elements button (highlighted in red within Figure 4). This opens the Chart Elements gallery. Within the Chart Elements gallery, hover your cursor over the Legend option. This reveals a right-arrow as shown highlighted in blue within Figure 4. Click this right-arrow to open the Legend sub-gallery (highlighted in green within Figure 4) which includes various options for the Legend.

    Legend options accessed without using contextual chart tabs
    Figure 4: Legend options accessed without using contextual chart tabs

  3. Within the Legend sub-gallery you access (see Figures 3 or 4), you can choose any position option for the Legend:

    1. To hide the Legend altogether, choose the None option (see Figure 3) or deselect the Legend check-box within the Chart Elements gallery, shown selected in Figure 4, above.

    2. To choose a location for your Legend, choose from the Right, Top, Left, or Bottom options.

    3. Other than these options, you can also select the last option in the gallery called More Legend Options (refer to Figure 3 above) or the More Options (see Figure 4 above). This brings up the Format Legend Task Pane, as shown in Figure 5.

      Format Legend Task Pane
      Figure 5: Format Legend Task Pane

      Here you can choose one among the previously explained legend positions. Additionally, you can:

      • Opt to place the Legend towards the Top Right of the chart.

      • You can also select the Show the legend without overlapping the chart check-box (highlighted in red within Figure 5, above).
  4. This makes 11 options together that you can choose from (see all 11 in the sample embedded presentation -- scroll down to the bottom of this page). Save your presentation often.

Tip: Want to quickly change the look of your chart? Do explore Chart Styles.

See Also:

Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

 

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-Book.

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences E-book

 



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