Formatting Data Points on a Chart

A data point is the smallest individual entity on the chart. On non-Shape charts, data points are represented depending on their chart type. For example, a Line series consists of one or more connected data points. On Shape charts, data points are represented by individual slices or segments that add up to the whole chart. For example, on a pie chart, each piece is a data point. For more information, see Chart Types.

One or more data points form a series. By default, all formatting options are applied to all data points in the series. If you want to specify properties for individual data points, you can specify a field or expression on the series that formats individual data point at run time based on the dataset.

Adding ToolTips and Drillthrough Actions to Data Points

You can add ToolTips to each data point by setting the value of the ToolTip property on the series. By displaying ToolTips, you can give your users the ability to see any information related to the data point, such as the group name, the value of the data point and the percentage of the data point relative to the series total. For more information, see How to: Show ToolTips on a Series.

You can also specify a drillthrough action for data points on the series to display another report or a URL. You can pass parameters to show information relating to the data point that has been clicked. For more information, see How to: Add a Drillthrough Action on a Report (Reporting Services).

Highlighting Individual Data Points in a Series

On any non-Shape chart, you can highlight individual data points by specifying an expression for the Color property. For example, to highlight the highest data point value in a series that is named MyField with a different color than the other data points, the expression would be similar to the following:

=Iif(Fields!MyField.Value >= Max(Fields!MyField.Value, "MyDataSet"), "Red", "Green")

In this example, the highest value for MyField will have the color Red and all other data points will have the color Green. When you specify a color for the series using the Fill property on the series, the chart overrides the colors that are specified in the palette. For more information, see Formatting Series Colors on a Chart.

On pie or doughnut charts, you can highlight individual data points by specifying an "exploded" effect on an individual slice of the pie. For more information, see How to: Explode a Single Point on a Pie Chart.

Positioning Data Point Labels on a Chart

For all chart types, you can show data point labels when you right-click the chart and select Show Data Labels. The position of the data point labels is specified depending on the chart type:

  • On a bar chart, you can reposition the data point label using the BarLabelStyle custom attribute. There are four possible positions: Outside, Left, Center and Right. When the bar label style is set to Outside, the labels will be positioned outside the bar, as long as it fits in the chart area. If the label cannot be positioned outside the bar and inside the chart area, the label is positioned inside the bar.

  • On a pie chart, you can reposition the data point label using the PieLabelStyle custom attribute. There are many considerations when positioning data point labels around a pie chart, including the size of the pie chart, the available space between the pie chart and its corresponding legend, and the size of the labels. For more information, see How to: Display Data Point Labels Outside a Pie Chart.

  • On a pyramid or funnel chart, you can reposition the data point labels using the FunnelLabelStyle and PyramidLabelStyle custom attributes. You can set these attributes in the Properties pane when you have selected a pyramid or funnel chart type.

  • On stacked charts, data point labels are always positioned inside the series and the Position property on the series label is ignored.

  • On all other chart types, you can reposition the data point label using the Position property on the series label. By default, the chart automatically calculates the position for data point labels to avoid label collisions. When you set a value for Position, all data point labels will be positioned the same way, which may cause the labels to overlap. Consider using this approach only when you have fewer data points.

For more information, see How to: Position Labels in a Chart.

Adding Chart Keywords

You can use case-sensitive, chart-specific keywords to represent an item that exists in the chart. These keywords are only applicable to ToolTips, custom legend text, and data point label properties. In many cases, a chart keyword has an equivalent simple expression, but the keyword is faster and easier to type. The following is a list of chart keywords.

Chart Keyword


Applicable to Chart Type

Example of an Equivalent Simple Expression


Y value of the data point.




Y value #2 of data point.

Range, Bubble



Y value #3 of data point.

Stock, Candlestick



Y value #4 of data point.

Stock, Candlestick



Series name.




Data point label.




Axis data point label.




Data point index.




Percentage of the data point Y value.


=FormatPercent(Fields!MyDataField.Value/Sum(Fields!MyDataField.Value, "MyDataSet"),2)


Total of all Y values in the series.




The text that corresponds to the text of the legend item.




Average of all Y values in the series.




Minimum of all Y values in the series.




Maximum of all Y values in the series.




First of all Y values in the series.



To format the keyword, enclose a .NET Framework format string in parentheses. For example, to specify the value of the data point in a ToolTip as a number with two decimal places, include the format string "N2" in braces, such as "#VALY{N2}" for the ToolTip property on the series. For more information about .NET Framework format strings, see Formatting Types on MSDN. For more information about formatting numbers in Reporting Services, see Formatting Numbers and Dates.

For more information about adding keywords to a chart, see How to: Show ToolTips on a Series, How to: Change the Text of a Legend Item and Series Label Properties Dialog Box, General.

Adding a Second Series to a Chart

When you add a field to a chart that already contains a series, the chart creates a series of the same chart type as the previously added series and adds it to the chart area. On Shape charts, this can cause data from multiple fields to be added to the same chart area. For simplicity, when you are using a Shape chart, consider adding only one data field and one category field. For more information, see Shape Charts.

To change the chart type of a series in your chart, you can right-click the series and select Change Chart Type. If you have multiple series on your chart, it may reduce the readability of the chart. When adding multiple series to the chart, consider using a technique that distinguishes how to read and understand each series in the chart effectively. For more information, see Displaying Multiple Series on a Chart.

Inserting Data Point Markers

A data point marker is a visual indicator used to draw attention to each data point in a series. On a scatter chart, the marker is used to determine the shape and size of the individual data points. The size of the marker is specified based on the chart type. You can change the size, color, or style of the marker. Markers are not available for range and shape chart types, or any stacked subtypes.