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Other Options for Chart Data Labels in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Explore other options to format Chart Data Labels in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X






Adding Data Labels to your charts in PowerPoint is one of the ways to make it more effective. But sometimes using this option may spoil the look of your chart because the Data Labels you used are too long and overlap each other, as shown in Figure 1, below where Series names show as Data Labels.

Chart with Series names used as Data Labels
Figure 1: Chart with Series names used as Data Labels

As you can see in Figure 1 above, the Data Labels added to 'Apples' Series are overlapping the surrounding Series in the Categories 2011 and 2012. To avoid this kind of issues, and also to format the Data Labels for different purposes such as adding some more elements to them, or change their text color etc, you need to format them as explained in this tutorial. First of all insert a Chart on your slide and add Data Labels. Then, follow these steps to format Data Labels in PowerPoint 2011:

  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 Chart 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.

    Data Label Options
    Figure 2: Data Label Options

    Alternatively, select a data label 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.

    Format Data Labels option
    Figure 3: Format Data Labels option
  2. Either of the above options will summon the Format Data Labels dialog box as shown in Figure 4.

    Format Data Labels dialog box
    Figure 4: Format Data Labels dialog box

    Let us explore the options within the sidebar of the Format Data Labels dialog box as shown in Figure 4, above:

    Labels

    Includes two sections, Label contains and Label options. To learn more about this option, refer to our Format Data Label Options for Charts in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac option.

    Number

    This option is used to apply various number formats to the data values. To learn more about this option, refer to our Format Number Options for Chart Data Labels in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.

    Font

    You can play with various Font options available. To learn more about Font editing options, refer to our Font Options in Format Text Dialog Box in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.

    Text Box

    Provides you with the options to change the text layout of the Data Labels (highlighted in red within Figure 5). To learn more about how to use these options, refer to our Text Layout Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.

    Text Box option within Format Data Labels dialog box
    Figure 5: Text Box option within Format Data Labels dialog box

    The only option which you won't find documented in the linked tutorial is Custom angle (highlighted in blue within Figure 5). In our sample chart, we set the Custom angle to 90° (see Figure 5, again). This option is useful when you want to rotate the Data Labels to a specific angle, just type the required angle in degrees within the box, or use the up and down arrows next to it. You can see the resultant chart within Figure 5, later on this page.

    All other options here are not usable with Data Labels.

    Fill

    Used to fill the text box containing Data Labels. To learn more about how to use these options, refer to our Fills for Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial, fills within text boxes work the same way.

    Line

    Provides options to format the border of the text box containing Data Labels. To learn more about how to use these options, refer to our Formatting Lines (and Shape Outlines) in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial. All options explained in that tutorial work for Data Labels except the Arrow options since the text containers are not open shapes.

    Shadow

    Adds a shadow to the border of the text box containing Data Labels. To learn more about how to use these options, refer to our Advanced Shadow Effect Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac tutorial.

    Glow & Soft Edges

    Glow option adds a halo of selected color around the text box containing Data Labels whereas the Soft Edges effect adds an eaten-up, feathered edge to the fill (if you have applied any) and outlines of the text box containing Data Labels. If you want to learn more about these two effects, refer to our tutorials Advanced Glow Effect Options in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac and Apply Soft-Edges to Shapes in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. Even though you can use these options, it is not a good idea considering the small size of the text box containing Data Labels.

    3-D Format

    This option doesn't work with Data Labels.
  3. Select the options and format your Data Labels as required. When done, click the OK button to get back to your slide. In Figure 5, you can see our sample chart after we formatted the Data Labels (compare Figures 1 and 6).

    Sample chart with formatted Data Labels
    Figure 6: Sample chart with formatted Data Labels
  4. Save your presentation.

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