How To Label Axis In Excel

Learn how to label the axis in Excel with this easy-to-follow tutorial

Last Updated on

If you’re someone who frequently uses charts, you’ll know what an axis label is, but knowing how to implement one in Excel, well that’s a different story.

Like with most things in Excel, once you know how to do it, it’s super easy and it can give the user a bit more information about the chart in question.

Axis labels aren’t displayed by default, so you’ll need to add them manually, and of course, you have both horizontal and vertical axes that you can label.

So in this guide, we’re going to outline how to add labels to your axis.

1

How To Label Axis

Below are the steps on how to label axis in excel:

Step

1

Left Click The Excel Chart

The first step is left-clicking the Excel chart.

Step

2

Click The Plus Sign Symbol

Upon doing this, you’ll see a plus sign appear, click this and a window will pop up.

Click The Plus Sign Symbol

Step

3

Go To Axis Titles

The window will show a few different options, but you’ll want to click ‘Axis Titles’ to put a checkmark in the box next to it, this will display the axis titles.

Axis Titles

Step

4

Label The Axis Title

After doing this, axis titles will pop up both horizontally and vertically. Just click the text box and rename it to whatever you want your axis label to say.

Axis Titles

2

How To Use Vertical Or Horizontal Axis Labels

If you’re using a dual-axis chart, then options for vertical or horizontal axis will be shown automatically, but some charts won’t always require both of them, you may just need a vertical axis label or a horizontal axis label.

To do this, go back to step 2 where the plus sign is. From here you’ll be met with the ‘Chart Elements’ window again, but if you hover over ‘Axis Titles’ a black arrow will appear.

Click this and you will see a checkbox for both vertical and horizontal axis, simply untick the one you don’t need and it will disappear.

How to use vertical or horizontal axis labels

Step

1

Dynamic Axis Labels

If you’d like to automate the text of the axis labels, you can actually create a reference from the axis title to a cell and it’s really quite simple.

  • Left-click the axis title and write the ‘=’ symbol, like you would if you were creating a regular formula in Excel. You’ll start to see the formula in the formula bar.
  • Then, left-click on the cell that contains the axis title that you want, like you would if you were creating a regular reference and then press enter.

So now when the text in the axis title cell changes, the axis label will change too automatically. It’s easy to do and saves you the hassle of going back and forth changing the title if the chart is a draft.

Step

2

Formatting Your Axis Title

If you want a bit of character to your axis title instead of the dull block text, why not try formatting it? It’s simple to do and it’ll give your chart a bit of extra character.

Just double click the text in the axis title like so to select it.

Once you’ve done that, head to the ‘Format’ tab and design the title however you’d like. Now you’ve got a cool axis label to catch your audience’s eye!

Formatting your axis title

Step

3

Removing The Axis Title

Removing the axis title is as simple as enabling them. You can remove the axis titles by just left-clicking on them and press the Delete button. Or alternatively, you can just uncheck the ‘Axis Title’ option in the ‘Chart Elements’ window and that will get rid of the axis titles for you.

Now you’ve got a good idea on how to label your horizontal and vertical axis! Along with a few other helpful tips that will help you down the road.

Final Thoughts

Software such as Excel is a great tool to create data visuals because of its excellent and sophisticated chart features.

We have shown you that it is in fact very easy to add and format your graph’s axis labels, in just a few simple steps. Now we hope you have all the information you need to make some awesome graphs and charts for your next project.