How To Change a Series Name In Excel

When visualizing data in Excel, graphs and charts are super accessible, effective tools to use. When you create one, the data represented by different colors (each called a ‘series’) is automatically given a name. However, this name may not be the one you intended for the series, or it may be generic, bearing no relation to the actual meaning behind the data. To fix this issue is pretty simple, all you need to do is change the series’ names.

To learn how to change the series name in Microsoft Excel, simply follow our step-by-step tutorial below. For all other information, check out our FAQ section at the end of this article.

How to change a series’ name in Microsoft Excel

  1. Open up Microsoft Excel on your device, and load the document with the graph or chart in it whose series you wish to rename.
  2. Locate the chart or graph within your document, and right-click on it.
  3. From the pop-up menu, select ‘Select Data’
  4. A window will pop up and under ‘Legend Entry (Series)’ will be a list of all of the series and their names which appear in your graph/chart. Select the first series you wish to rename.
  5. Next, click ‘Edit’, located just above this list.
  6. Delete the current series name (in the box labelled ‘Series Name’), and input a new one. To confirm the new name, click ‘OK’

  7. Repeat as necessary for all the series listed for this particular graph or chart which you need to rename.
  8. Once finished renaming your series, click the ‘OK’ button on the ‘Select Data Source’ window to exit out of it.

And there you have it! That’s about all you need to know when it comes to renaming series in Microsoft Excel. For all other questions and info, see our FAQ section below.


What is a ‘series name’ in Microsoft Excel?

Microsoft Excel is one of the foremost data entry and spreadsheet programs in the world, used by millions of people every day to conduct complex calculations and arrange their data in new and meaningful ways. One of the ways an Excel user might often like to display their spreadsheet’s data is with a bar graph, line graph, pie chart, or some other similar type of data visualization.

When you create a chart like this in Excel, there is a ‘Legend’ created (usually) below the chart itself, color-coded to explain to you and all other readers what the data in the chart is corresponding to. Each color represents a different type of data, referenced in the cells of your spreadsheet. Each ‘type’ is called a ‘series’.

These series are usually automatically named when the chart or graph is created, with Excel either giving them a generic name or pulling the one you’ve already given that series in the data set you created the chart from.

Why would you change the ‘series name’ in Microsoft Excel?

As we’ve stated above, it may well be the case that Microsoft Excel has named your graph or chart’s series automatically, with a generic title that you feel doesn’t accurately represent the data. Maybe Excel has given the series names like ‘Series A’ and ‘Series B’, which don’t really say anything about what the data in those series means.

You could change these generic series names to something more relevant (depending on the data you’re working with). For example, maybe you’ve created a bar graph examining your podcast’s downloads versus listeners. You could therefore rename the series to reflect this: ‘Downloads’ for the series corresponding to download numbers, and ‘Listeners’, corresponding to the number of listeners.

How often can you change the series name in Excel?

As often as you like! There’s no limit to how often you can change the series name in Excel, just repeat the processes explained in our tutorial above and you can chop and change series names at your whim.