Free computer Tutorials
Microsoft Excel 2007 to 2013
The Chart Title and Series Title
Your chart from the previous section should now look like this:
Once you have your chart in place, there are plenty of formatting options in Excel. In the chart above, for example, the title says "Chart Title". And there's a not terribly descriptive orange square that says "Series 1" (your bars may be blue). We'll see how to change that in a moment. But first, the Chart Title. (If you don't have a title in Excel 2010, select the first layout in the Chart Layouts panel.)
How to Change the Chart Title
To change the title of your chart, click on the title to select it:
The circles surrounding the title tell you that it is selected. Once the title is selected, click on the letter "C" of Chart. Hold your left mouse button down and highlight the two words, as in the image below:
Once your title is highlighted, you can change it by simply typing a new one:
While the title is highlighted, you can select a different font and font size, if you want (on the Home panel in the Excel Ribbon at the top.)
To deselect the title, click anywhere outside of it.
Formatting a Series Title
To change the Series 1 text on the Chart heading to something more descriptive, select the title as you did above:
Make sure the circles are there, and then right click. You should see the following menu appear in Excel 2007:
Click on "Edit data source". Alternatively, click the Edit data source item on the Data panel on the Excel 2007 Ribbon:
For Excel 2010 and 2013 users, your menu looks like this:
The item to click on the menu above will say Select Data instead of Edit Data Source.
In both versions you should then see the following dialogue box appear.
The Chart Data Range at the top of the dialogue box is highlighting the cells A5 to B14. This is the data we selected for the chart. Below this there is an area for Legend Entries (Series) and Horizontal Axis Labels. We'll see more of these later. For now though, we just want to change Series 1 into something more descriptive.
So click on Series 1 to highlight it. Then click the Edit button, as in the image below:
When you click the Edit button, you'll see a new dialogue box appear - Edit Series. It should look like this:
Notice the cells being referenced in the Series name area. They are cells A5 to B14. These same cells are also highlighted on the spreadsheet:
Click on the BBC title instead, the one on Row 3 above. Your Edit Series dialogue box will have changed. The Series Name area will now say A3 (amongst all those dollars):
Click OK to get back to your Edit Data Source dialogue box. The Series legend will now say BBC:
Click OK to return to your spreadsheet. But look what's happened to the chart. The Series 1 has gone. Next to the orange square, we now have BBC 1:
We'll meet these boxes again when we create a chart from scratch. For now, let's see some more formatting option you can do with an Excel chart.