For Seniors: How to Identify the Parts of an Excel Chart

By Faithe Wempen

Every part of the chart has a name, and learning the Microsoft Excel lingo can help you format the specific parts. The following list points out some of the key features of a chart:


  • Chart area: The entire chart, including all the labels and extras: everything in the chart frame

  • Plot area: The part of the chart that contains the data bars/area/pie/points

  • Legend: The key that shows what each color represents

  • Wall: The background of the plot area, if any

  • Floor: On certain types of 3-D charts, the bottom of the plot area

  • Data series: All the data points in the same data series (represented by a single color or legend key item)

  • Data point: A single numeric value represented on the chart (for example, a single bar or point)

  • Chart title: A text label that describes the entire chart

  • Axis: A line on which data is plotted

A column chart has both a vertical and a horizontal axis.