12. Export Charts to PowerPoint and Word

Overview

It's possible to export charts from Excel in a number of ways. Here I show you the pros and cons of each export method and which are best to use.

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Summary

  1. Copying and Pasting Charts (00:04)

    After creating charts in Excel, you may want to export them to Word or PowerPoint. In this lesson, we see how to go from Excel to PowerPoint, but the same principles apply from Excel to Word.
    The easiest method to export a chart is to select it in Excel and copy with Ctrl + C. Then move to PowerPoint and paste with Ctrl + V. This pastes the chart as a Microsoft object. This means that the chart in PowerPoint is linked to Excel. If you update the chart in Excel, the version in PowerPoint updates automatically.

    The main downside of pasting a chart as a Microsoft object arises when you want to circulate the presentation. You need to circulate the PowerPoint file and the Excel file, otherwise the chart won’t render properly.

  2. Alternative Methods (01:29)

    There are several alternative methods of exporting charts that don’t have the issues of a Microsoft object. There are two options that can work well. First is to create your charts in PowerPoint instead of Excel. Second is to circulate your PowerPoint presentation as a PDF, which breaks the link to the Excel data.

    A final alternative is to copy the chart from Excel, then paste it into PowerPoint as an image. This is a paste special option available in PowerPoint. In this case, you won’t be able to edit the chart in PowerPoint, except to adjust its size.

Transcript

When you create charts in Excel you'll normally want to transfer these charts into PowerPoint if you're giving a presentation, or Word if you're writing a report. In this lesson we'll learn about several methods for exporting a chart to PowerPoint or Word. Let's start by selecting the chart, and then copying with Ctrl C.

I'll then switch to PowerPoint, and paste with Ctrl V.

And when I do this Excel pastes the chart as a Microsoft object. This means that in PowerPoint I can change the labels, or the title of my chart, as if I was still in Excel. Unfortunately there are some drawbacks to pasting Microsoft objects. The charts pasted into PowerPoint are still linked to the data in Excel, so for example if I go back to Excel and make an update, say moving the North American revenue to 10 million, you'll see that in PowerPoint my chart updates automatically.

The problem with this happens when you want to circulate your presentation. Because the data in the PowerPoint slide is actually linked to the Excel file, both files will need to be circulated, otherwise the chart won't render properly. To combat this problem I tend to create charts in PowerPoint, rather than copy and paste from Excel. Alternatively, you could circulate your presentation as a PDF, rather than as a PowerPoint presentation. This also breaks the link to the underlying Excel data.

Another way of pasting a chart into Word or PowerPoint, without a link to the underlying Excel sheet, is to paste as an image. Let's create a new slide in PowerPoint, I'll just create a blank slide, and instead of pasting with Ctrl V, I'll go to the paste dropdown, and here I'll select the picture option.

And this option pastes our chart into PowerPoint, there's no link to the underlying Excel data, but we can't edit the title and the size of the data labels as we did before. This is an image and can only be adjusted in terms of overall size. This is a pretty limited way of inserting charts into PowerPoint and Word, and as a result I rarely use it. Instead, distribute your presentations as PDFs, or create the charts within PowerPoint itself. Either of these is options is a much better way to go.

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