Unfortunately, this issue is independent from <> tags. They play no role in this. If you insert hard coded data and try to change the data labels with "value from cells" you can select a range of values, but then it crashes after pressing "ok".
Take a simple data set like below, make a bar chart out of it, activate data labels and then try to change the data labels from value to value from cells and select i.e. the regions. If this works for you, it's probably my old version of the template editor.
In my opinion we need to test if this issue still appear on latest version or if it was solved. I checked the release notes but I think the best way is to test directly. If it is not solved it needs to be investigated by developers.
I suggest you to open a support ticket with all details we need to reproduce (include a qvf and some templates where the issue appears and a link to this conversation) so we can test on May 2022. If May 2022 solves it will become an upgrade issue.
Best Regards, Ruggero --------------------------------------------- When applicable please mark the appropriate replies as CORRECT. This will help community members and Qlik Employees know which discussions have already been addressed and have a possible known solution. Please mark threads with a LIKE if the provided solution is helpful to the problem, but does not necessarily solve the indicated problem. You can mark multiple threads with LIKEs if you feel additional info is useful to others.