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Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2010

Author: Geetesh Bajaj

Product/Version: PowerPoint 2010

Date Created: August 19th 2010
Last Updated: August 19th 2010

Excerpt/Capsule: Learn how to format chart legends within PowerPoint 2010.

See Also: Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2003 | Format Chart Legend in PowerPoint 2007

Charts in PowerPoint can be customized by changing the appearance of various chart elements. The legend is also a chart element 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 2010. 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:

  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. There are three such tabs:

    Chart Tools Design,
    Chart Tools Layout, and
    Chart Tools Format.

    Chart tools
    Figure 2: Chart tools

    Note: By default, the legend appears on the right side of the chart (see Figures 1 and 2).

  3. 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.

    Legend options list
    Figure 3: Legend options list

  4. 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).

  5. More Legend Options opens the Format Legend dialog box. Select the Legend Options tab, as shown in Figure 4. 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).

    Format Legend
    Figure 5: Format Legend

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

This is the sample presentation of legend positions in PowerPoint 2010

Click above to view on Slideshare

See Also:

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


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