I have a scatter plot in Numbers using one column of data from my table for X values and another for Y values and want to label (and ideally also highlight) each point with the corresponding entries in a third column (or additional columns). How do I do that?


As of Numbers 3.6 on OS X 10.11, this is not currently possible.

A few alternatives:

  1. Manually add text above each individual point, though obviously a huge hassle.
  2. Use Excel (if you have access), as this functionality appears to be supported.
  3. Use Google Sheets (free), which supports this feature.

Using a Google Sheet is definitely the most cost effective method of the three listed above, and you should be able to easily migrate your Numbers sheet by copying and pasting cells, or by exporting as an .xls file, and then uploading to Google.

  • FWIW I've used Google Sheets to do this. The graphing tools aren't ask good as Excel / maybe Numbers, but it does have nice little gems like this every once in a while. Aug 4 '16 at 20:40
  • @user1947561 Agree, Google Sheets is good for quick sheets, but I can find its graphing tools a bit cumbersome and non-intuitive (but then again, I don't use them all the time). Aug 4 '16 at 21:01
  • I was unable to replicate what you did in Google sheet. I found that you have a Data Labels of type custom, while I don't have custom. I only have Value or None. Accessorily, I could not find where your data labels refers to your column C. Can I have a quick hint? May 11 '20 at 21:19
  • OK I found it: it's not in the series settings. Select the chart. In the chart editor to the right, select the Setup tab at the top. Click in the 3 vertical dots menu. Select Add labels May 11 '20 at 21:24

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