How to

How to Change the Data Series Name in Microsoft Excel

How to Change the Data Series Name in Microsoft Excel

A series of data in Microsoft Excel is a set of data, displayed in a row or column, which is presented using graphics or charts. To help analyze your data, you might prefer to change the name of your data series.

Instead of changing the names of each column or row label, you can change the name of the data series in Excel by editing a chart or chart. You might want to do this if your data labels are opaque and difficult to understand immediately.

You can change the name of any data series that is presented in a chart or graph, including basic Excel bar charts.

To show, we have a basic bar chart showing quarterly fruit sales listings. The chart shows four bars for each product, with the bar labeled at the bottom – this is your data series.

In this example, the data series are labeled alphabetically from A to D.


Labels like this won’t be very helpful for the purpose of this example, because you won’t be able to determine the time period.

This is where you look to change the name of the data series. To do this, right-click your chart or chart and click the “Select Data” option.


This will open the “Select Data Source” option window. Some of your data series will be listed under the “Entries (Legend)” column.

To start renaming your data series, select one from the list and then click the “Edit” button.


In the “Edit Series” box, you can start renaming your data series label. By default, Excel will use column or row labels, using cell references to determine this.

Replace the cell reference with the static name of your choice. For this example, our data series labels will reflect the annual quarter (Q1 2019, Q2 2019, etc.).

You can also replace this with other cell references if you prefer to use labels that are separate from your data. This will ensure that your chart is updated automatically if you decide to change the labels shown in these cells later.

After you rename your data series label, click “OK” to confirm.


This will take you back to the “Select Data Source” window, where you can repeat the steps for each series data label.

If you want to return your labels the same as your column or row labels, repeat the steps above, replacing the static labels with cell references for each column or row label.

You must name the worksheet that contains the label when you do this. For example, using = Sheet1! $ B $ 1 here will show the label in cell B1.

For this example, this will show the letter A.


This means that any changes to your column or row label will also update the data series label in your chart or graph.

After you rename all data labels, click “OK” to save changes.


Your chart or chart will display an updated data series label.

This is displayed at the bottom of your chart, and is color coded to match your data.


You can make further changes to your chart formatting or chart at this time. For example, you can add trend lines to your Microsoft Excel chart to help you see further patterns in your data.

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