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I have 8 graphs all with the same legend (line colours and meaning), so in order to save space I would like to remove the legend from each graph and create/include just one large one at the top of the worksheet. This has caused me problems.

Is there a way to do this without having to manually create/draw one? I've tried cutting it out but that hasn't worked.

Any help greatly appreciated.


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5 Answers 5

up vote 1 down vote accepted

All versions of Excel on Windows:

  • Put a screen capture of Excel into the clipboard using Alt + Print Screen
  • Crop it in your image editor of choice
  • Paste it back in into Excel
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I've just found the paste as picture option. Hidden under the paste button. opps. – RocketGoal Aug 17 '10 at 12:12

Simple solution: Duplicate one of the graphs and make everything except the legend as small, as it's possible. Then set some background color to the legend and resize it to fit the whole graph area.

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Tested in Excel 2010:

  • Select your chart
  • From the Ribbon tool select Copy as Picture... (Click the drop down next to Copy)
  • Paste your picture (a copy of the entire chart)
  • Right click somewhere on the picture. Above the pop-up menu you'll see a small window with a few buttons - one is the Crop Tool.
  • Drag the crop markers to remove the unwanted area around your legend.

Note: This copy will not update with your charts if you change your data.

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Interesting idea. I tried that with the camera tool but it's a bit hit and miss. The not updating thing may not be a problem...for the moment. – RocketGoal Aug 17 '10 at 10:39
No option in 2007 to copy and paste as picture. It just copies and pastes the graph in its editable format.. Thanks anyway. – RocketGoal Aug 17 '10 at 10:42
RocketGoal: Mike said Copy as Picture, not Copy. – Jon Peltier Sep 5 '13 at 14:29

You could try it this way, I think I've done something similar in the past. chart layout

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Is this: make the first chart area as big as A4 and then copy and paste the other charts into the chart area? – RocketGoal Aug 17 '10 at 10:56
Kind of, except you can just drag the other charts on top of the Chart1 chart area. Making the main chart area transparent makes it much easier to do, it will still be opaque when Chart1 is selected but will go clear when you click anywhere else. – Lunatik Aug 17 '10 at 11:01
Never got around to trying this one, but I'll keep it in mind. – RocketGoal Aug 17 '10 at 14:42

Copy and paste the graph on a Word document. Increase the legend till you achieve the desirable size; reduce the size of the originating chart linked to the legend and lastly save the document as pdf. Then convert the pdf back to word using a pdf converter (installed or online). The new Word doc converted from the pdf will now have the legend series each with its separate colour and an editable description of the series.

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