How to turn off axis labels in Google Sheets charts

It's not obvious how to turn off axis labels in Google Charts, but it's not impossible! Here's are three ways to do it.

It’s not easy to make Google Sheets charts look good! One way to make Google Sheets charts look a little bit better is to remove axis labels so that your charts look cleaner.

If you tried clicking on axis labels and pressing the delete key, you probably saw the message "Item can't be deleted" appear on your chart.

It's not obvious how to turn off axis labels, but don't worry, it's not impossible! Here is a simple walkthrough for how to turn off axis labels for charts in Google Sheets.


Method 1: Set font color to background color

This is a "hack-y" method for turning off the axis labels on your Google Sheets charts. However it is probably the easiest to understand and implement right away.

Step 1: Double click on the axis labels to open the axis format menu

Step 2: Change the font color to match the chart background color

If you are looking to preserve the existing charts format and layout, this can be a good solution. However, if you actually do not want the "invisible" axis labels to interfere with the layout or ability to intelligently resize your chart, you may want to follow method 2 below.

Method 2: Turn off axis gridlines

This is the "correct" way to actually remove axis labels in Google Sheets. Unfortunately, it also removes the gridlines, so if you want to have gridlines on your chart, this solution may not work for you. Essentially, what you are doing here is turning off the gridlines themselves, so they no longer need labels.

Step 1: Right click the chart and select the Gridlines and ticks option

Step 2: Set Major count and Minor count for axis lines to "None"

Step 3: Repeat for the other axis

Method 3: Try modifying font size and label rotation (not recommended)

This is not a recommended solution because it is only a partial solution. However, if you are concerned about the layout issues from Method 1, you can combine these techniques with Method 1 to minimize the size and impact of the "hidden" axis labels that have been set to the background color.

Step 1: Double click on the axis labels to open the axis format menu

Step 2: Set label font size to 1 (it may automatically revert to 6)

Step 3: Set slant labels to 1° (only horizontal axis)

Other tips and tricks

  • If you find that you have no option but to keep your axis labels, try reformatting the numbers so they are less obtrusive or each label is shorter
  • If you only need a simple chart without axis labels, try using Sparklines to create a simple line or bar chart to show the general shape of your data without all of the extra chart formatting
  • Once you're done formatting all of your charts, if you need to place them in a presentation, try using an AI presentation maker to create your slide deck

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