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pie chart legend options

1122 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Mar 4, 2014 6:35 PM by Uchiha D Madara RSS
Jonny Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 15, 2013 7:14 PM

I have a spreadsheet with "expense categories" in one column and "dollar figures" in the second column.


When I highlight the columns and create a chart I DON'T want to have to use "show legend" (with the color circles at the bottom) as it repeats my expense categories and just takes up space.

Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 7.05.13 PM.png


What I want is what shows up with I click on the pie chart. When I do that, it changes my spreadsheet and shows the corresponding colors to the left of the categories.


Is there a way to have my spreadsheet legends show up like in the picture below to the left?  It goes away the minute I click off the pie chart or try to print.


Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 7.05.42 PM.png


Thanks in advance.

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Wayne Contello Level 6 Level 6 (12,665 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2013 7:21 PM (in response to Jonny)



    The images you posted are not showing up.  Can you try again?

  • Badunit Level 6 Level 6 (10,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 15, 2013 8:25 PM (in response to Jonny)

    I can't see your images either. This happens sometimes, no fault of your own.


    When you click on a chart, it shows you where it is getting the data. That is what you are seeing in your table, the data highlighted and showing you which color is which series of data.  But a chart should have a legend of some kind unless it is not necessary for understanding the chart.


    You can readjust the invisible box that surrounds the legend and move it to the side:


    Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 11.20.04 PM.png


    You can turn off the legend and instead show the categories (series names) on the chart:


    Screen Shot 2013-01-15 at 11.20.23 PM.png


    I forgot to set the format of the labels to dollars (instead of percentages) in those two screenshots.

  • Badunit Level 6 Level 6 (10,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2013 10:19 AM (in response to Jonny)

    Jonny wrote:


    The colors and legend showing only show up when I click the pie chart. If I click off or print, the legend disappears.

    That is becasue it is not a "legend" it is a tool for creating and editing charts.


    I can't think of an automated way to recreate the legend without it being a legend but here is a shot at it:


    Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 1.11.09 PM.png


    I used a color fill for each of those colored cells, picking the color off of the circles in the actual legend, which I turned off after I was done. 


    If you want it to look exactly like your screenshot, good luck. It took a lot more manual work to get it to look close:


    Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 1.17.41 PM.png

  • Badunit Level 6 Level 6 (10,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2013 2:30 PM (in response to Jonny)

    Numbers always uses the same colors, unless you change them manually. So, as long as you have the same number of categories (or hide rows that are empty) and never sort the table, it can work.


    I'll keep thinking.  I might be able to make it more automatic for you.

  • Badunit Level 6 Level 6 (10,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 16, 2013 3:53 PM (in response to Jonny)

    See if this gets you started



    Screen Shot 2013-01-16 at 6.46.16 PM.png


    I put the legend in a separate table that consists of a single column. The column contains formulas that refer to the data table (Table 1). The formulas are not affected by sorting the data table, you can sort it all you want and the legend will be correct. I filled each cell with color and used conditional formatting to make it white text on a white background if there is no header text for that row. I also made the borders white so they would blend into the page. Add text in one of the empty rows of the data table and you'll see how it acts.


    Notice that a pie chart has only six different colors, then the colors repeat. You can modify that but you'll also have to modify what I did by changing the legend cells to the the new colors. I changed the colors by turning on the legend, using the magnifying glass in the Color window to get the color, then drag/dropping the color on the cell. I do not know how many different colors you can use.


    I recommend locking the legend table so it cannot be modified by the user.


    I recommend turning Wrap off in the data table.  If text wraps it makes the row taller which will cause the legend and the table to become misaligned.  Changing the font, changing rows sizes manually, or moving the table will do that too.


    I recommend locking the chart so it cannot be modified by the user.

  • Uchiha D Madara Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 4, 2014 6:35 PM (in response to Jonny)

    I am planning to use a chart component including the pie chart series, I also feel headaches on the chart legend things, it is so nice to see this thread which give me so many helps on the understanding of the chart legend.


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