Basically everything except the series and chart area in a chart is a chart element. The axis, data labels, gridlines, chart titles, legends, error bars, etc. these all are chart elements.
Before Excel 2013, we used the design tab from the ribbon to add or remove chart elements. We can still use them. Since Excel 2013, Mircosoft provided a fly-out menu with Excel Charts that let's us add and remove chart elements quickly. This menu is represented as a plus (+) sign.
As soon as you click on this sign, all the chart elements will be shown with checkboxes before them. When you tick a checkbox Excel will add that chart element with default setting on the chart area.
When you hover over a chart element in the menu, you will see an arrowhead after that chart element. If you click on it, it will show customized options for adding that chart element. You can choose from the listed settings or click on the more options to customize that chart element.
Let's see an example to understand how you can add or remove chart elements.
Here, I have data of sales done in different months in an Excel Spreadsheet.
Let's plot a line chart for this data.
Select the data, go to insert menu --> Charts --> Line Chart.
1: Add Data Label Element to The Chart
To add the data labels to the chart, click on the plus sign and click on the data labels.
This will ad the data labels on the top of each point. If you want to show data labels on the left, right, center, below, etc. click on the arrow sign. It will open the options available for adding the data labels.
2: Add Vertical Gridlines to the Chart
Currently, our chart only has horizontal gridlines. If we want to add the primary major vertical gridline element to the chart we:
Click on the plus sign (+). Move the cursor on the Gridline option. Click on the arrowhead sign. Check the primary major vertical gridlines.
3: Remove Chart Title Element From the Chart
Let's say I don't need the chart title in this chart and I want to remove it. I simply uncheck the Chart Title Element option from the fly-out menu. And it is gone.
You can also select these chart elements and press the delete button to simply remove them from the chart. But the fly-out menu gives all the options it one place, and you don't need to select each element one by one.
So yeah guys, this how you can add or remove elements of chart to the excel chart quickly. I hope it was explanatory and useful. If you have any doubts regarding Excel Formula, Functions, Charts, or VBA, ask in the comments section below.
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