I always struggle when showing line chart with long legend title like this:

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Is there any best practice to a chart with long legend title?

I try to show several alternatives below, but of course, it's not comprehensive.

(a) Stretch y-axis limit

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(b) Put legend outside chart's body

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(c) Shorten legend title

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I'm a researcher in computer science field. But, general discussions beyond research domains are also welcome.

  • 2
    Note that specific journals may have their own styling preferences for the legend.
    – Bitwise
    Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 2:44
  • @Bitwise Thanks. I'm interested especially in CS field. Unfortunately, I have no idea about style preference about this topic even in my field, and would appreciate if you could give some ideas. Commented Mar 24, 2016 at 2:51

1 Answer 1


When it's not too big, I recommend shrinking the legend font size and whitespace and reducing the complexity of the labels. If it's very big, however, I recommend instead moving to a systematic coloring scheme and explaining the coloring scheme in the caption rather than a legend.

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