Adding Annotations to a Chart

Using annotations will help you direct attention to the most important aspects of a chart, helping the reader to clearly identify what is relevant.

Under the chart annotations tab, you’ll find:

  • Inks – a free-hand option for highlighting portions of your chart
  • Chart ornaments – defined shapes or text boxes you can place anywhere in the graph area
  • Annotations – labels and lines that can be added to a particular value on the x and/or y axes

Inks don’t need much explanation, so we’ll focus on going through a quick description of chart ornaments and annotations.

Chart Ornaments

Ornaments are added independently of any value in a chart and moved freely

  • As a text box
  • As a line
  • As an arrow

The size and position of an ornament can be adjusted manually, by clicking and dragging.

Use the Custom style option if you want to change the appearance of the ornament.

EXAMPLE:

If you shorten the date range of the x axis, resulting in a closer view of the graph lines, the text box will not move to accommodate the change.

How to add ornaments?

  1. Select the ornament type from the command bar
  2. Draw-out the ornament in the graph area, to an appropriate size
  3. Move it to an appropriate position if necessary

When to use ornaments?

  • When you want to add a general note
  • When you want to highlight something that is not related to a single value in the chart

Annotations

Annotations are added relative to particular values in a chart:

  • As a vertical line, associated with a value on the x axis
  • As a horizontal line, associated with a value on the y axis
  • As an observation, associated with a value coordinate, on both the x and y axes

EXAMPLE:

If you changed the scale of the y axis in the image below, the horizontal line would move with its reference value.

How to add annotations?

  1. Select the annotation type from the command bar
  2. Click on a relevant position in the graph area, to add the annotation

When to use annotations?

  • When you want to specify which values to add annotations to
  • If you plan to update the data in a chart, or make adjustments to the x or y axes, using annotations will ensure that the annotations you add remain in the correct position