Format a Chart Axis Title

From the previous lesson, your 2D Excel Line Chart should look something like this:

Our Excel Line Chart

To format the dates on the bottom Axis, click on them with your left mouse button. With the dates Axis selected, right click. You should see this menu:

Format Axis

Select Format Axis from the menu, and you'll see the following dialogue box appear in Excel 2007 and 2010:

The Format Axis dialogue box

Excel 2013 and 2016 users will see a panel appear on the right of the screen, instead of a dialogue box:

Under Axis Type, select Text Axis:

Axis Type - Text Axis

Your dates should end up in the middle. (Our version of Excel was a little buggy. We had to click Date axis, then click back on Text axis to get the dates in the middle.)

Dates are now in the middle



Adding an Axis Title

To add an Axis label at the top of your chart, if you have Excel 2007 or Excel 2010, click the Layout menu at the top of Excel. Then locate the Labels panel:

Labels Panel

Click on Chart Title. From the menu, select Above Chart:

Chart Title - Above Chart

If you have Excel 2013 and 2016, however, stay on the Design Ribbon and locate the Chart Layouts panel on the left, just under the File menu. Click Add Chart Element, then Chart Title > Above Chart:

Chart Titles in Excel 2013

You will then see a default title appear at the top of the chart. Highlight the text, and type a title of your own:

An Axis Title has ben added


Add a Left Axis

We now need to add an Axis for the numbers running up the left of the chart. The numbers are the hours per week that people watch each channel - 0 to 6.

From the Labels menu still, select Axis Titles > Primary Vertical Axis Title > Rotated Title:

Rotated Title

Axis titles in Excel 2013

(Excel 2013 and 2016 users won't have Rotated Title option - the title will roate by itself.)

This will add a title like the following one:

A default left Axis

Highlight the default title and type Hours. You can move the title to the left by clicking and dragging. This is a little tricky, though! Use the Zoom tool at the bottom of Excel to zoom in on your target:

Excel 2007 Zoom Tool

Move the Axis in to position:

Moving the Axis

When you're done, your chart should now look like this one:

Your Line Chart

Or this:

Spruce it up a bit by adding a bit of fill colour, rounded edges, and shadow. You've already done this previously, so we won't go through it again. When you're done, it may look like ours:

The Finished Excel 2007 Line Chart

And that's it for line charts. If you've been following along from the beginning, you should now have some impressive Excel chart skills.


In the next part, we'll take a look at how to predict future values with Excel charts.