How to Add Axis Labels in Excel

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When you create an Excel chart, both horizontal and vertical axes don’t have titles. In this tutorial, we will learn how to insert axis titles and labels in Excel.

Obviously, you can name axes in charts that include them already. For example, pie or doughnut charts have no X or Y axis, so they can’t be named.

Method 1- Add Axis Title by The Add Chart Element Option

As soon as you click on the chart area, two extra tabs appear on the ribbon related to the chart; the Design and the Format tabs.

To add the axes titles for your chart, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the chart area.
  2. Go to the Design tab from the ribbon.
  3. Click on the Add Chart Element option from the Chart Layout group.
  4. Select the Axis Titles from the menu. 
  5. Select the Primary Vertical to add labels to the vertical axis, and Select the Primary Horizontal to add labels to the horizontal axis.

How to use the Add Chart Element to add axis title.
Picture 1- Add axis title by the Add Chart Element option

Method 2- Add Axis Title by The Chart Element Button 

Excel 2013 and later versions provide a useful cross-cut, which is shown by a plus element. 

The Chart Element button in Excel.
Picture 2- The Chart Element button

Use this button to add titles to your chart axes:

  1. Click on the chart area.
  2. Click on the Chart Element button (according to the picture 2.)
  3. Check the Axes Titles from the checklist (if you need to add a label to one of the axes, click on the little arrows in front of the Axes Titles checkbox and check the Primary Vertical or the primary Horizontal checkboxes.)
  4. Enter the axis title.

Use the Chart Element button to add axis title.
Picture 3- Add axis title by the Chart Element button

Link to the Text Instead of Retype

Let’s see how to link the chart axis name to the text we already mentioned in a workbook.

  1. Add Title one of your chart axes according to Method 1 or Method 2.
  2. Select the Axis Title. (picture 6)

Selecting the axis title for linking to the text.
Picture 4- Select the axis title
  1. Click in the Formula Bar and enter =.
  2. Select the cell that shows the axis label. (in this example we select X-axis)
  3. Press Enter.
How to link the X axis title to the text in Excel?
Picture 5- Link the chart axis name to the text

Video 1- Link the chart axis name to the text

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