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

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


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

Adding Data Labels to your charts in PowerPoint is one of the ways in which you can make them more effective and relevant for your audience. Using options within the Format Data Labels dialog box, you can further format Data Labels to suit your requirements, as explained in this tutorial.

To start with, you need to have a chart on your slide. If you don't have one, insert a Chart on your slide. Thereafter enable Data Labels for your chart. And then follow these steps to format Data Labels:

  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 1. Within the Chart Layout tab, click the Data Labels button (highlighted in blue within Figure 1) to open the Data Labels menu. Within the Data Labels menu select Data Label Options, as shown in Figure 1.

    Data Label Options
    Figure 1: Data Label Options

    Alternatively, select the Data Labels of a Data Series in your chart and right-click (Ctrl+click) to bring up a contextual menu, as shown in Figure 2 -- from this menu, choose the Format Data Labels option (see Figure 2) .

    Format Data Labels option
    Figure 2: Format Data Labels option

  2. Either of the above options will summon the Format Data Labels dialog box as shown in Figure 3. Make sure that the Labels tab is selected within the sidebar. 

    Format Data Labels dialog box
    Figure 3: Format Data Labels dialog box

    As you can see in Figure 3 above, the Labels tab of Format Data Labels dialog box includes two sections (marked as A and B within Figure 3). Let us explore the options within these sections:

    1. Label contains section includes three check-boxes:

      1. Series name: Displays name of the Series as Data Labels.

      2. Category name: Displays name of the Categories as Data Labels.

      3. Value: Displays values of Series as Data Labels.

      Select the check-boxes depending upon what you want to show as the Data Label. You can select any one, two or all three of them as required. But it's always best to select any one of these options so that your chart does not look too crowded -- unless you have a compelling reason to choose otherwise.

    2. Label options section contains three options:

      1. Label position includes same options that you can see in the upper half of Data Labels menu (refer to Figure 1, above) that decide the positioning of Data Label. Refer to our Chart Data Labels in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial to learn more about these options.

      2. Separator: This option will stay greyed out if you have selected only one check-box within Label contains section (see point A, above) -- to make it active you need to select two or more check-boxes. Using this option you can choose a parameter to separate the elements within the Data Label -- you can select a coma, a semi colon, a colon, a dot, or a space to separate them. Figure 4 shows our sample chart with Data Labels of the "Grapes" Series displaying Value as well as Series name, separated with a semi colon.

        Series name and data value separated with a semi colon
        Figure 4: Series name and value separated with a semi colon

      3. Show legend key next to label: Select this check-box if you want to show the legend key (the color block) in front of the Data Label. Figure 5 shows the legend keys as a part of the Data Labels for all Data Series.

        Legend keys shown as a part of the Data Labels
        Figure 5: Legend keys shown as a part of the Data Labels

  3. Select the options and format your Data Labels as required. When done, click the OK button within the Format Data Labels dialog box to get back to your slide.

  4. Similarly, select other Data Labels within your Data Series and format them one by one.

  5. Save your presentation.

See Also: Chart Data Label Options in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows


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