Use a screen reader to add a title, data labels, and a legend to a chart in Excel

This article is for people with visual or cognitive impairments who use a screen reader program such as Microsoft’s Narrator, JAWS, or NVDA with Microsoft 365 products. This article is part of the Microsoft 365 screen reader support content set where you can find more accessibility information on our apps. For general help, visit Microsoft Support home.

Use Excel with your keyboard and a screen reader to add a title, data labels, and a legend to a chart. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. Titles, data labels, and legends help make a chart accessible because they provide non-visual elements that describe the chart.

Notes: 

In this topic

Add titles to a chart

You can give a title to the entire chart, as well as to its individual axes.

Note: Charts that don’t have axes, such as Pie or Doughnut charts, can't have axis titles.

  1. Select the chart that you want to work with.

  2. To open the Add Chart Element menu, press Alt+J, C, A.

  3. Select the type of title you want to add:

    • To add a chart title, press C. The focus moves to the Chart title list. Do one of the following:

      • To add a title above the chart, press A, type a title, and then press Enter.

      • To add a centered overlay title, press C, type a title, and then press Enter.

    • To add axes titles, press A. The focus moves to the Axis Titles list. Do one of the following:

      • To add a primary horizontal axis title, press H. The focus moves to the primary horizontal Axis Title field. Type a title and press Enter.

      • To add a primary vertical horizontal axis title, press V. The focus moves to the primary vertical Axis Title field. Type a title and press Enter.

  4. The title is added to your chart and the focus is on the chart title. To move the focus away from the chart title and back to the chart or worksheet, press Esc.

Tips: 

  • To remove a chart title, select the chart, and then press Alt+J, C, A, C, N.

  • To remove a primary horizontal axis title, select the chart, and then press Alt+J, C, A, A, H.

  • To remove a primary vertical axis title, select the chart, and then press Alt+J, C, A, A, V.

Add data callout labels to a chart

Data callout labels make a chart easier to understand because they show details about a data series or its individual data points.

  1. Select the chart that you want to work with.

  2. To open the Add Chart Element menu, press Alt+J, C, A.

  3. To add data callout labels to the chart, press D and then U.

Tip: To remove data labels, select the chart, and then press Alt+J, C, A, D, and then N.

Add a legend to a chart

Legends help you to quickly understand data relationships in a chart. For example, in your monthly budget worksheet, when you create a bar chart comparing projected costs with actual costs per expense category, a legend helps you to quickly identify the two different bars and to identify the categories with the greatest discrepancies.

  1. Select the chart that you want to work with.

  2. To open the Add Chart Element menu, press Alt+J, C, A.

  3. To open the Legend list, press L.

  4. To select where you want to add the legend, do one of the following:

    • To select Right, press R.

    • To select Top, press T.

    • To select Left, press L.

    • To select Bottom, press B.

Tip: To remove a legend, select the chart, and then press Alt+J, C, A, L, N.

See also

Use a screen reader to create a chart and select a chart in Excel

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

Use Excel for Mac with your keyboard and VoiceOver, the built-in macOS screen reader, to add a title, data labels, and a legend to a chart. Titles, data labels, and legends help make a chart accessible because they provide non-visual elements that describe the chart.

Notes: 

  • New Microsoft 365 features are released gradually to Microsoft 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in macOS screen reader, VoiceOver. To learn more about using VoiceOver, go to VoiceOver Getting Started Guide.

In this topic

Add titles to a chart

You can give a title to the entire chart, as well as to its individual axes.

Note: Charts that don’t have axes, such as Pie or Doughnut charts, can't have axis titles.

  1. Navigate to the chart that you want to work with.

  2. Press F6 until you hear the name of the current ribbon tab, for example, "Home, selected, tab."

  3. Press Control+Option+Right or Left arrow key until you hear "Chart Design, tab," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Add Chart Element, menu button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. Select the type of title you want to add:

    • To add a chart title, press the Tab key until you hear "Chart title, submenu," press Control+Option+Spacebar, and then do one of the following:

      • To add a title above the chart, press the Tab key until you hear "Above Chart," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

        Note: This title might be selected by default. If it is, you hear: "Tick, Above Chart."

      • To add a centered overlay title, press the Tab key until you hear "Centered Overlay," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

      • To remove the chart title, press the Tab key until you hear "None," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    • To add an axis title, press the Tab key until you hear "Axis Titles, submenu," press Control+Option+Spacebar, and then do one of the following:

      • To add a primary horizontal axis title, press the Tab key until you hear "Primary Horizontal," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

      • To add a primary vertical horizontal axis title, press the Tab key until you hear "Primary Vertical," and press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    The focus returns to the Add Chart Element menu button. 

  6. To change the default title text, navigate to the chart and press Control+Option+Shift+Down arrow key to start interacting with the chart area. You hear: "In Chart." Press Option+Left or Right arrow key until you hear "Chart Title, text," "Horizontal, Category, Axis Title, text," or "Vertical, Value, Axis Title, text," depending on which title you want to change. Type the new title text. Press Esc to exit the chart title text box.

Add data callout labels to a chart

Data callout labels make a chart easier to understand because they show details about a data series or its individual data points.

  1. Navigate to the chart that you want to work with.

  2. Press F6 until you hear the name of the current ribbon tab, for example, "Home, selected, tab."

  3. Press Control+Option+Right or Left arrow key until you hear "Chart Design, tab," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Add Chart Element, menu button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Data labels, submenu," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  6. Press the Tab key until you hear "Data Callout," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    Tip: To remove data labels, press the Tab key until you hear "None," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    The focus returns to the Add Chart Element menu button.

Add a legend to a chart

Legends help you to quickly understand data relationships in a chart. For example, in your monthly budget worksheet, when you create a bar chart comparing projected costs with actual costs per expense category, a legend helps you to quickly identify the two different bars and to identify the categories with the greatest discrepancies.

  1. Navigate to the chart that you want to work with.

  2. Press F6 until you hear the name of the current ribbon tab, for example, "Home, selected, tab."

  3. Press Control+Option+Right or Left arrow key until you hear "Chart Design, tab," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. Press the Tab key until you hear "Add Chart Element, menu button," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  5. Press the Tab key until you hear "Legend, submenu," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  6. To select where you want to add the legend, press the Tab key until you hear the location you want, and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    Tip: To remove a legend, press the Tab key until you hear "None," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

    The focus returns to the Add Chart Element menu button.

See also

Use a screen reader to create a chart and select a chart in Excel

Keyboard shortcuts in Excel

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Excel

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Microsoft 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Excel

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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