8.7.1 Labeling Plots using Label tab or Mini Toolbars

The Text tool and the Annotation tool available from the Tools toolbar can be used to label specific elements of the plot. To label all data points in a dataplot, use one of the following methods.

Label tab of the Plot Details dialog

You can use the Label tab of the Plot Details dialog to add labels to all points of a data plot. This Label tab can be found on the right side of the Plot Details dialog when a data plot icon is selected on the left panel.

See this tip about changes to labeling behavior of grouped plots beginning with Origin 2020b.

To add labels using Plot Details controls

  1. Double-click on the data plot you want to label.
  2. On the Plot Details dialog that opens, make sure the data plot icon is selected on the left side of the dialog and go to the Label tab on the right side of the dialog.
  3. Select the Enable check box.
  4. Note that for some plot types, you can opt to Show at Specified Points Only and enter a space-separated set of point indices in the text box. Use keyword "Begin" to label only the first point and keyword "End" or "0" to label the last point in the plot.
  5. Use the Label Form list with the Numeric Display Format and Format String to construct your label. Note that there is a Label Form = Custom option that allows you to label points with worksheet and project metadata.
  6. Customize other label-related settings as needed (font, color, rotation, offsets, position, auto-reposition, leader lines, etc) using Label tab controls; or close the Plot Details dialog and customize labels using buttons on the data label Mini Toolbar or the Style and Format toolbars.

To add labels using Mini Toolbar buttons

Since Origin 2020, we have introduced the context-sensitive Mini Toolbars for faster graph customization. You can also use the controls on it to label the data points:

  • To quickly add and remove labels for the plot group and a single plot, click on one plot, and on the pop-up Mini Toolbar,
    • under the Group tab Popup Group Tab.png, click the Show Data Labels button Button MT add label.png to add and remove labels for all plots in current group. By default, the Y values of data points will show as labels.
    • under the Single tab Popup Single Tab.png, click the Show Data Labels button Button MT add label.png to add and remove labels for all plots of current plot. By default, the Y values of data points will show as labels.
  • To quickly add a single data label in your graph, press CTRL + click to select a single point (symbol, bar, etc.), then on the Mini Toolbar click the Show Data Labels button Button MT add label.png. By default, the Y value of this data point will show as label.
  • To quickly customize a single data label, press CTRL + click on a single label. Use available buttons to customize the label.
  • When labeling a contour plot, click on the plot and click the Show Contour Labels button Button MT add label.png. If you use the Scale In button Button Zoom Out Tool.png to change the axis scales (i.e. you zoom in), click the Pointer button Button Pointer.png then click again on your contour plot and click Reposition Labels, to redraw labels on the zoomed portion of your plot.
Labeling plots contour reposition labels.png

Choosing a Label Source

Once you have enabled labels (using either Plot Details Label tab controls or the Mini Toolbar Show Data Labels button), you need to specify a Label Source:

  • If you are labeling entire plots, chances are you will use plot data to label your plot. You can select the labels and click the Label Source button Button MT Label Source.png on the Mini Toolbar, to designate a label source (X, Y, XY, etc.).
  • If you are labeling a single point, you may want to use plot data, column label row data, or you may wish to create a Custom data label using LabTalk substitution.
  • To access the full range of label customization options, double-click on the label(s) or click on the Open Plot Details button Popup Open Plot Details.png to open Plot Details.

For help with specific Label tab controls, see:

Label data using Labels column

Values in a pre-designated Origin Label column or in an Excel worksheet column can be used to label data points in a graph. Labeling points in this way is an older method and it remains primarily for backward compatibility. In earlier versions of Origin, designated Label columns appeared as a separate dataset in Plot Details. Beginning with Origin 2020b, designated Label columns will simply be treated as a display option of the data plot and will be controlled via a common Label tab.

  • To use values in an Origin worksheet column as plot labels, the column intended for labeling must be:
  1. Designated as a Label column.
  2. Located to the right of the Y column to be labeled (a row-by-row association is created). If more than one Y column is selected along with the Label column, Origin labels those data points from the nearest Y column to the left of the label column.