How to Fix the Overlapping Data Labels in Excel 2007


Microsoft Excel 2007 enables users to format spreadsheets and charts to print exactly as it appears on the screen. However, long data labels in a cell or column heading may be cut off by the contents of an adjacent cell. This indicates overlapping data labels that need to be formatted to accommodate longer text by extending the column width or by wrapping the text in the cells so it flows on multiple lines. Users can also adjust overlapping data labels on charts and graphs by repositioning the labels or changing the text direction of the labels and axes.

Column Width

  • Launch Microsoft Excel and open the desired spreadsheet.

  • Select the desired column heading containing text in cells that appears to be cut off.

  • Click the left or right border of the column and hold down the mouse button to manually adjust the column width. Release the mouse button.

Wrap Text

  • Launch Excel and open the desired spreadsheet.

  • Select the desired column heading containing cells with text that appears cut off.

  • Click the "Home" tab in the toolbar and click the "Wrap Text" button, which is located on the bottom of the Alignment group.

  • Click the "Top vertical alignment" button, if desired, to position all wrapped text at the top of the cell.

  • Insert a line break in the text, if desired, by clicking the desired cell containing the text, clicking the desired location to insert a line break and pressing and holding the "Alt" key while pressing the "Enter" key. Release both keys and then press the "Enter" or arrow key to move to the next cell.

Charts and Graphs

  • Launch Excel, open the desired workbook and navigate to the page containing the chart or graph.

  • Click one of the data labels to select the series.

  • Select the desired font size or font in the "Home" tab in the top toolbar to reduce the size of the labels.

  • Select a single data label by clicking the item twice (not a double-click) and hold down the mouse button to move the data label to another position where it doesn't overlap the text of another data label.

  • Right-click the desired axis, select "Format Axis" and click the "Alignment" category. Select the angle of the text for the labels by dragging the control dot around the semi-circle and then click the "Close" button.

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  • Photo Credit Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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