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Most charts use some kind of a legend to help readers understand the charted data. Whenever you create a chart in Excel, a legend for the chart is automatically generated at the same time. A chart can be missing a legend if it has been manually removed from the chart, but you can retrieve the missing legend.

This example chart shows a legend explaining the colors for the years 2013, 2014, 2015.

In this article

Color specified for the individual bars Bar chart in Excel

Add a chart legend

  1. Click the chart.

  2. Click Chart Elements Plus next to the table.

    The Elements icon is on the upper-right of the chart.
  3. Select the Legend check box.

    List of the different elements in the chart

    The chart now has a visible legend.

Edit legend texts

If the legend names in the chart are incorrect, you can rename the legend entries.

  1. Click the chart.

  2. Click Chart Filters Filters next to the chart, and click Select Data.

    Click "Select Data."
  3. Select an entry in the Legend Entries (Series) list, and click Edit.

    The Select Data Source dialog box
  4. In the Series Name field, type a new legend entry.

    Edit Series dialog box

    Tip: You can also select a cell from which the text is retrieved. Click the Identify Cell icon Identify Cell, and select a cell.

    Edit Series dialog box
  5. Click OK.

Related Topics

Create a chart from start to finish

Get Microsoft chart templates

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