How to Add a Legend on Excel for Mac: A Step-by-Step Guide

Adding a legend to your Excel spreadsheet on a Mac can be a bit tricky if you’re not familiar with the software. But don’t worry, it’s actually quite simple once you know the steps. Basically, you need to select your data, insert a chart, and then Excel will automatically add a legend for you. Let’s jump into the detailed steps, shall we?

Step by Step Tutorial: How to Add a Legend on Excel for Mac

Before we start, let’s get a clear understanding of what we’re aiming for. A legend is a key that helps viewers understand what different parts of your chart represent. By following these steps, you’ll be able to add a legend to your Excel chart, making your data more accessible and easier to interpret.

Step 1: Select your data

Click and drag to highlight the data you want to include in your chart.

Selecting the right data is crucial because the legend will be based on this. Make sure you include any column or row labels if you want them to appear in the legend.

Step 2: Insert a chart

Go to the ‘Insert’ menu, click on ‘Chart’, and choose the type of chart you want to use.

Excel for Mac offers a variety of chart types, including bar, line, pie, and more. Pick the one that best suits the data you’re working with.

Step 3: Excel adds the legend

After inserting the chart, Excel will automatically generate a legend based on your data.

The legend will appear on the side of your chart. You can click on it to customize its position or format if needed.

After completing these steps, your chart will have a legend that corresponds to the data you’ve selected. This will make your chart easier to understand at a glance, as viewers can quickly reference the legend to make sense of the data.

Tips for Adding a Legend on Excel for Mac

  • Make sure your data is organized and labelled clearly before creating the chart.
  • Consider the type of chart you’re using, as some may not require a legend.
  • Customize the legend by right-clicking (or control-clicking) on it and selecting ‘Format Legend’.
  • Use the ‘Chart Design’ and ‘Format’ tabs to further customize your chart and legend.
  • Remember that you can move the legend to different positions around the chart if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of charts can I add a legend to in Excel for Mac?

You can add a legend to most types of charts, including bar, line, pie, and area charts.

Can I remove the legend from my Excel chart?

Yes, you can. Simply click on the legend and press the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard.

How can I change the position of my legend in Excel for Mac?

Click on the legend, and you should see handles around it. Click and drag the legend to move it to a new position.

Can I change the text of the legend in Excel for Mac?

Yes, the text in the legend corresponds to the data labels in your chart. To change the text, you’ll need to edit the data labels in your spreadsheet.

What if my Excel chart doesn’t show a legend?

Make sure your data includes labels and that you’ve selected the correct chart type. If the problem persists, try re-inserting the chart.


  1. Select your data
  2. Insert a chart
  3. Excel adds the legend


There you have it, a straightforward guide on how to add a legend on Excel for Mac. Whether you’re working on a school project, a business report, or just organizing your personal data, a legend can be a valuable addition to your charts. It’s a small touch that can make your data much more understandable and professional-looking. Remember, the key to a successful chart is clarity, and a well-placed legend helps achieve just that.

Don’t hesitate to experiment with different chart types and legend positions to find what works best for you. And if you ever get stuck, Excel’s help feature is a great resource, or you can always search online for more detailed guides and tutorials. Excel for Mac is a powerful tool, and with a bit of practice, you’ll be creating charts like a pro in no time!