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Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

Learn how to add and reposition chart legends in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. Experiment with different legend positions to find the one that works best for you.


Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010 for Windows

OS: Microsoft Windows XP and higher

Learn PowerPoint

Learn how you can convert text boxes to placeholders in PowerPoint.

Charts in PowerPoint can be customized by changing the appearance of various chart elements. Typically, the legend is a box or area that contains color or pattern swatches representing the series in a chart. Look at Figure 1, below that shows a default chart created in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows. The legend is the box that captions the series: Series 1, Series 2, and Series 3 and identifies them with different colors so that you can follow which series each of the columns in that chart represent.

Chart in PowerPoint 2010
Figure 1: Chart in PowerPoint 2010

The legend can be formatted to be placed at various locations within the chart area, and you can hide it altogether.

Follow these steps to learn more about the chart legend in PowerPoint 2010 for Windows:

  1. You first need to have a chart in your presentation. Learn how to insert a chart in PowerPoint 2010.
  2. Now, select the chart to activate the Chart Tools tabs on the Ribbon area, as shown in Figure 2, below. There are three such tabs:
  3. Chart Tools Design,
    Chart Tools Layout, and
    Chart Tools Format.
  4. Chart tools
    Figure 2: Chart tools
  5. Default Legend Position

  6. By default, the legend appears on the right side of the chart as shown in Figures 1 and 2.
  7. Choose the Chart Tools Layout tab on the Ribbon. Then, within the Labels group, click the Legend button to bring up the Legend dropdown gallery, as you can see in Figure 3, below.
  8. Legend dropdown gallery
    Figure 3: Legend dropdown gallery
  9. Here, you can choose different legend position or hide it altogether. Apart from the None option that turns off the legend altogether, you'll find more controls if you click the last option in the gallery called More Legend Options (refer to Figure 3, above).
  10. More Legend Options opens the Format Legend dialog box. Select Legend Options tab, as shown in Figure 4, below. Here, you can choose from 5 legend positions, and you can also choose to Show the legend without overlapping the chart. This totals ten options that you can see in the sample embedded presentation (scroll down to the bottom of this page).
  11. Format Legend dialog box
    Figure 4: Format Legend dialog box

Chart Styles

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

Here is a sample presentation of legend positions in PowerPoint 2010:

Click below to view on Slideshare

See Also:

Chart Legend: Chart Legend (Glossary Page)

Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac
Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2007 for Windows
Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2003 for Windows

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