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= This article is an excerpt from Excel 2007 Charts by John Walkenbach. A.k.a. = Mr. Spreadsheet, John is arguably the foremost authority on Excel. His forty= -plus books include Excel 2007 Power Programming with VBA, Excel = 2007 Formulas, and the bestselling Excel 2007 Bible, all published by Wiley. He has also written hundreds of articles and created the award-winning Power Utility Pack. To buy this b= ook, visit Wiley.com.
Every chart series has a name, which is displayed in the chart’s legend. If you don’t explicitly provide a name for a series, it will have a default name, such as Series1, Series2= , and so on.
The easiest way to name a series is to do so when you create= the chart. Typically, a series name is contained in a cell adjacent to the ser= ies data. For example, if your data is arranged in columns, the column headers usually contain the series names. If you select the series names along wit= h the chart data, those names will be applied automatically.
Figure 1 shows a chart with three series. The series names, =
are stored in B3:D3, are
Figure 1: The series names ar= e picked up from the worksheet.
Note that the first argument for this SERIES formula is a re= ference to the cell that contains the series name.
The series name is the text that appears in a chart’s = legend. In some cases, you may prefer the chart to display a name other than the t= ext that’s in the worksheet. It’s a simple matter to change the na= me of a series. Follow these steps:
= ; 1. Activate the chart.
&nbs= p; 2. Choose Chart ToolsèDesignèDataèSelect Data to display the Select Data Source dialog box.
&nbs= p; 3. In the Select Data Source dialog b= ox, select the series that you want to modify, and click the Edit button to di= splay the Edit Series dialog box.
= 4. Type the new name in the Series Na= me box.
Normally, the Series Name box contains a cell reference. But= you can override this and enter any text.
If you go back to a series that you’ve already renamed, you’ll find that Excel has converted your text into a formu= la – an equal sign, followed by the text you entered (the new series na= me), in quotation marks.
Figure 2 shows the previous chart, after changing the series= names. The first argument in each of the SERIES formulas no longer displays a cell reference. It now contains the literal text. For example, the SERIES formu= la for the first series is as follows:
Figure 2: The series names ha= ve been changed; the new names are shown in the legend.
If you need to change the name of a series, you may find it = easier to edit the SERIES formula directly.
To delete a series name, use the Edit Series dialog box as described previously. Highlight the range reference (or text) in the Series Name box and press Delete.
Alternatively, you can edit the SERIES formula and remove th= e first argument. Here’s an example of a SERIES formula for a series with no specified name (it will use the default name):
When you remove the first argument in a SERIES formul= a, make sure that you do not delete the comma that follows the first argument. The comma is required as a placeholder to indicate the missing argument.
To create a series with no name, use a set of empty quotatio= n marks for the first argument in the SERIES formula. A series with no name still appears in the chart’s legend, but no text is displayed.