Add Footnote Markers to Category Labels – Tutorial

Add Footnote Markers to Category Labels.

This lesson shows you how add footnote markers to category labels on a chart in Excel 2010 or higher or compatible. And, you may not even need to touch the chart to achieve this task.

We may refer to footnote as reference or just ref in this instruction.

Process to Add Footnote Markers to Category Labels

The following method works on almost every chart that shows categories in an Excel chart. If you do not have a chart, you can either follow along or create a basic column chart on your own.

Follow the steps below to show ref markers on a category in a chart.

Step 1: Open your chart and make sure your data is visible to you.
Column chart with sheet data.
Column chart with sheet data.
Step 2: Select cell of the category you want to add a footnote marker to.
Sheet with selected cell in edit mode.
Sheet with selected cell to add footnote to.

Double-click on the cell you want to show the marker. In our case, Facebook. You can also click on the cell and press keyboard shortcut F2 for edit mode. Also, go to the end of the word, remaining in the cell.

Step 3: Open Symbol dialog box and select marker character.
Insert toolbar with Symbol highlighted from ribbon.
Insert toolbar with Symbol option highlighted from ribbon.
Symbol dialog box.
Symbol dialog box.
  1. Click Insert from the toolbar
  2. On the far right of the Insert ribbon, click Symbol
  3. In the Symbol dialog box, click the Symbols page
  4. Under the Symbols page, select (normal text) as the Font,
  5. Select Latin-1 Supplement as the Subset
  6. In the character list, look for what looks like a superscript 1. Click on it and press the Insert button

You should now see a 1 in your cell, as in below.

Cell with footnote marker symbol.
Sheet data with inserted marker in cell.

Note: For the font, you may need to select Arial or another font to see the superscript characters for 1, 2, and 3.

Step 4: Press Enter again to leave the cell.
Data sheet with footnote marker in cell and in chart.
Data sheet with footnote marker in cell and in chart.

Success!

You should now see a superscript 1 in your data and on your chart.

Additional Information on Footnote Symbols

Using this method, under the Latin-1 Supplement subset, you will probably see footnote markers for 1, 2, and 3 only.

If you want the rest of the superscript characters (0, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9), you have to pick a different font and subset. We use the Arial Unicode MS font and the Superscripts and Subscripts subset. See below.

Symbol dialog box showing extended subscript characters.
Symbol dialog box showing extended subscript characters.

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