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I have three columns of data. Column 1 has a short description, column 2 has a benefit number and column 3 has a cost. I can create a cost/benefit scatter chart, but what I want is to be able to have each point in the scatter chart be labeled with the description. I don't care if you can see it on the chart or you have to roll over the point to see the description.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You could use this addon

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+1 Looks good. I already did it the manual way, but this add-on looks useful for when I need to do this again. – Leigh Riffel Oct 1 '10 at 12:59
+1 Excellent link! Wish I could up vote it more than once. BTW, works for all chart types with labels, not just XY. – DaveParillo Oct 6 '10 at 3:11
In addition to this fine add-in, Excel 2013 now has an option to add labels from cells. Add any old arbitrary labels first, then format them to access this option. – Jon Peltier Oct 5 '14 at 15:57

There's another free utility (and tutorial on how to create it) available for download here:

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Could you perhaps describe this utility? Maybe include a tutorial? Generally we prefer answers involve more detail as opposed to just linking – Simon Sheehan Nov 11 '11 at 21:46
Pictures showing how the program works is very helpful too. – wbeard52 Oct 2 '15 at 3:27

At first, I thought you could accomplish this with a 'bait and switch' - make a plot of the data first, then edit the series. Doesn't work though. This works if and only if the numbers in column 'B' are whole numbers. The excel chart isn't really using any of the data in column B anymore.

The only way I have been able to reliably do this in the past is to make every row of data it's own data series. Painful, but if you want to see it in action, I have an example excel file.

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+1 Every row of data as it's own series does work, but you are right it is painful to build. – Leigh Riffel Sep 29 '10 at 17:34

The utility worked for me. As a "tutorial" I would recommend

  1. Downloading this Excel worksheet, from part five of this blog and enabling macros

  2. Move the button down and out of the way of your data if you have more than a few columns

  3. Paste your data in on top of the film data.

  4. Create scatter plots by selecting two column at a time and insert scatter (plot).

  5. Clicking on the button, which will add labels.


Thanks to the folks that made it and recommended it.

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Please add a link to the original blog and not just the spreadsheet. – DavidPostill Sep 21 '14 at 16:17

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