MS Excel: Custom Data Labels

In Microsoft Excel, if you ever needed to graph some data but then attach a data label with it that wasn’t necessarily the data value of that point, there is a way to do that. This also a good way to attach notes to the graphs and can be easily customized.

Let us assume this is your data:

You want to plot the first half of that data like normal:

Next you can right click on each of three bars and select Format Data Series. Now select the Data Labels tab and select Values and press OK.

You should now see the graph like this:

Now since you want to associate the second half of the data values with this bar graph, you select each data value individually – you can do this by click the value once, to select all the values associated with that color:

Then click again to select that point individually:

Now press the “=” key and select the cell the new data value that you would like to show. Repeat this last process for each data point and you will be set to go:

I am pretty sure you can write up a VB script for it and I probably will in due time if necessary, but hopefully this helps for now.