Charts are a quick way to visually illustrate data. But they often need some context to be easily understood. That’s where axis titles come in. Let’s learn how to add axis labels in Microsoft Excel.
How to Add Axis Labels in Excel
Axis labels explain the units on your chart’s X and Y axes. While sometimes the data may be readily understandable, the units may not be clear to your audience. With axis labels, you can show exactly what you’re describing.
Consider a simple chart like this. As you can see, it tracks an upward trajectory of sales. Across the bottom, as most might guess, are years. But how about the other axis? Does 6,000 mean 6,000 Euros? 6,000 dollars? 6,000 widgets?
This is a perfect time to add axis labels. To get started, first click inside the area of your chart to select it. On Excel’s ribbon, click on the Chart Design tab. Over on the left, you’ll see a dropdown button titled Add Chart Element. Click here.
On the dropdown menu, you’ll see a list of available options. The second one down is what you’re looking for: Axis Titles. Hover over it, and you’ll have additional choices to select from. Primary Horizontal adds a title to the X-axis. Predictably, Primary Vertical adds a labels to the Y-axis.
Clicking on More Axis Title Options launches the Format Axis Title sidebar on the right side of your workbook. There, you can add options like fills, borders, and more. The Text Options section deals with font formatting, and lets you add a plethora of cool text effects.
Once you’ve added your axis labels, it’s time to customize them. In essence, they’re just simple text boxes. Select the Axis Title text, then type over it with your own words. Simple as that.
As you can see, it’s easy to add axis labels in Excel. In a few seconds, you can ensure your chart is easily understood by anyone who sees it.