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Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

Learn how to format chart legends in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

OS: Windows XP and higher

Charts in PowerPoint can be customized by changing the appearance of various chart objects. The legend is also a chart object and typically it is a box or area that codes via color or pattern all the series in a chart. Look at Figure 1 that shows a default chart created in PowerPoint 2003. The legend is the box that captions the series East, West, and North and identifies them with different colors so that you can follow which series each of the columns in that chart represent.

Chart in PowerPoint 2003
Figure 1: Chart in PowerPoint 2003

The legend can be formatted to be placed at various locations within the chart area, and you can hide it altogether. You can also remove the box that surrounds the legend.

Follow these steps to change the location of the legend in the chart area, hide it altogether, or remove the boxed outline around it:

  1. You first need to have a chart in your presentation. Learn how to insert a chart in PowerPoint 2003.
  2. Now double click the chart to get into chart editing mode, as shown in Figure 2. Notice that the menu and toolbars are now changed from the default PowerPoint interface.

    Chart Editing Mode
    Figure 2: Chart editing mode

    Note: By default, the legend appears on the right side of the chart (see Figures 1 and 2).
  3. From the menu bar, choose Chart | Chart Options (see Figure 3).

    Chart Options in PowerPoint
    Figure 3: Chart Options
  4. This opens the Chart Options dialog box. Select the Legend tab, as you can see in Figure 4.

    Chart Options dialog box in PowerPoint
    Figure 4: Chart Options dialog box
  5. Here are some options you can choose from:

    1. To hide the legend altogether, deselect the Show legend check box. To enable it again, check this option if it is deselected.
    2. Within the Placement section, choose different locations for the legend. The preview area on the right displays the changes you make. Click OK to get back to your edited chart.
  6. Now select the legend box in the chart, and choose Format | Selected Legend as shown in Figure 5.

    Selected Legend
    Figure 5: Selected Legend
  7. This brings up the Format Legend dialog box. Select the Patterns tab, and set the Border to None (see Figure 6). This sets your outline box around the legend to none. While you are here, you can also select the Font tab of this dialog box (see Figure 7) and change the size and font of your legend text. There's also a Placement tab, but options here are fewer than in the Chart Options dialog we explored earlier on this page.

    Patterns tab
    Figure 6: Patterns tab

    Font tab
    Figure 7: Font tab
  8. Click anywhere outside the chart to get back to the default PowerPoint interface.

See Also:

Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows
Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows

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