Adding Chart Titles

You can download here the worksheet from this video to practice it by yourself!

Adding Titles to Your Chart

Before adding titles to the different elements (main title or axis) of your chart or graph, do the following 2 steps:

  1. Select the chart by clicking it.
  2. Choose the “Layout” tab on the ribbon.

From now on we will be using the buttons from the ribbon's layout tab:

Adding a Main Title to your chart

  1. Click the “Chart title” button, then choose the “Above Chart” option.
  2. Type the title, and hit the [Enter] key.

Adding a Title to the X Axis (the horizontal axis)

  1. Click the “Axis Titles” button, choose the first option, then choose “Title Below Axis”.
  2. Type the title, and hit the [Enter] key.

Adding a Title to the Y Axis (the vertical axis)

  1. Click the “Axis Titles” button, choose the second option, then choose “Rotated Title”.
  2. Type the title, and hit the [Enter] key.

Please Note:
After adding titles, the whole chart tends to shrink (in order to adjust enough space to the titles), therefore it is usually necessary to adjust the chart's size by stretching one of its corner outwards and making it bigger.

What are these titles good for?

With titles you can easily turn a perplexing or vague chart into an effective illustration of your work.
Even though it is simple to acquire information from a well-designed chart, the lack of titles will easily confuse the unfamiliar reader.

The main chart title prepares readers for what they are about to see, making it obvious the moment they see it.

Axis titles on the other hand provide a background that the user can relate to.

Look for example in the accompanying video. Are those final grades? Are they midterm test grades? It is hard to know until you see the axis title.

Imagine a financial chart missing its titles, many questions can quickly arise: Are these figures listed in 100s, 1,000s, millions, or billions of dollars? Is this money lost or gained? And in what time frame?

If you are inexperienced with excel, chart and axis titles at a first glance may seem like extra fluff that you don’t actually need. Every experienced user will tell you, however, that chart titles are a necessary ingredient of every effective professional presentation.