Label A Legend In Google Sheets
Graphs and Charts in Google Sheets can be extremely valuable for visualizing data, but sometimes it’s not immediately clear from looking at a graph what the displayed data represents.
In these cases, it can be useful to add a legend and labels to your graph to ensure no one is confused about what they’re looking at.
Fortunately, Google Sheets makes it easy to do this.
How to Insert a Graph
If you don’t already have a graph in your spreadsheet, you’ll have to insert one in order to add a legend. To insert a graph in Google Sheets, follow these steps:
Select the data range you want to graph. Be sure to include headers in the selection as these will be used for graph labels.
Open the Insert menu, and select the Chart menu option
A new chart will be inserted as a floating element above the cells. You can click and drag to position the chart, or resize using the drag handles on its corners
The Chart Editor sidebar will also open when you insert the new chart. This is where you can make edits to the look and feel of your chart by changing chart type, colors, axes, etc.
Make any adjustments you need to the graph and then close the Chart Editor sidebar
Adding a Legend
Once you have a graph, it’s time to add a legend
Open the Chart Editor for that graph by selecting the graph and clicking on the 3 dot menu icon in the corner of the chart. From the menu that appears, select Edit Chart. The Chart Editor for that graph will open.
At the top of the Chart Editor, click on the Customize tab, the click on the Legend Section to expand the Legend Options
Click on the Position menu and choose the position you want to display the legend, relative to the graph
The legend will appear in the selected location
Updating Legend Labels
Now we have a graph with a legend, we can update the legend labels.
Unfortunately Google Sheets doesn’t provide an option to do this inside the Chart Editor options, but it can still be done easily by updating the column headers.
Just follow these steps:
Double click on the column header for the data you want to update the legend label for to enter edit mode and type in the text you want to appear in the label. Then hit enter.
Repeat Step 1 for all columns for which you want to update the legend label
Once you’re done updating the column headers, the legend labels in the graph will update
Example Spreadsheet: Make a copy of the example spreadsheet
In this tutorial, I covered how to label a legend in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.