Good and Not So Good Ideas of chart design – Long Labels

August 12, 2014
Chart Polish, Design Approaches

Not A Good Idea: Keeping the chart layout as vertical where the bars stand upright can be a problem if you have very long labels. As the example demonstrates below, the long labels overlap each other, get cut off and makes the chart hard to read.


Many times this issue can be corrected by using a combination of Skip or Staggered layout to have a couple of the labels shown. When this doesn’t work because the labels are just too long, or all labels must be present, then rotating the labels 90 degree may sometimes work. However, for really long labels it will not work well. As the image shows below, the long labels take over the display area and push the chart upwards and in turn make the bars unreadable.


A Good Idea: A better alternative is to rotate the chart layout to allow for very long labels to fit properly. Since the length of the labels now take up the width of the chart, there’s more available space. It’s also easier to read the long labels which would be hard to read at 90 degrees.

See more examples of Bars with Horizontal layout from our Chart Gallery:

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