Excel question: how to copy the legend on a chart

(I have more luck asking my Excel questions here than using Excel’s Help)

Let’s say I have a chart in Excel, and the chart has a legend at the bottom. I would like to copy that legend – just the little box that decodes the colors – and paste it as a picture in another document.

I can’t seem to do that, although I’m pretty sure I’ve done it before. If I click on the legend and Copy, it copies the entire chart.

I’m on Excel 2010 if it matters.

Never mind…found an easy work-around. Copy the whole chart (including legend) into Paint, and then crop out everything except the legend.


I use Excel 2003, so my answer may not be up to date, but after noodling around with a chart that had a legend and not finding any way to copy it, I’m guessing that it can’t be done. I’m also guessing that the reason is that the content of the legend is created automatically and is simply a visual representation but without actual substance. In Excel 2003, it isn’t even possible to edit a legend, except to change the formatting. But if, for instance, you want to change the words in the legend, you would have to change them in the underlying data, not in the chart. I hope this helps.

OK, I didn’t preview and didn’t see your post until I hit Submit. Good workaround and one that I use frequently when I’m trying to send screenshots but don’t need the whole screen to make my point.

Yep, that would be my solution, only I would use FullShot (or other screen capture software) so I could snapshot the relevant area only.

If you’re using W7, the Snipping Tool will let you grab a screen image of just the legend and paste it where ever you want.

For prior versions of Windows, you’d need separate software. I use SnagIt; I think they have a free trial.

:eek: :cool:

Yes, I’m on W7, and I had no idea that tool existed. Thanks!

If you have OneNote 2010, you can use “Win button + S” to get a screen shot of anything and then paste it anywhere.