12. Export Charts to PowerPoint and Word

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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.

Lesson Notes

Exporting to Word and PowerPoint

- Excel charts can be exported to Word and PowerPoint with a simple Copy / Paste
- This technique pastes the chart as a Microsoft Object
- Microsoft Objects can be altered in PowerPoint / Word with the same functionality as Excel

Problems with pasting Microsoft Objects

- Pasting Microsoft Objects from Excel creates a link between the new document and the Excel sheet
- When emailing the document, the Excel sheet also needs to be emailed so the link is not broken
- This can be a problem, especially if the worksheet contains some confidential information

Solutions to this problem

- Create charts natively in PowerPoint and Word, with the data from the Excel sheet
- Circulate presentations and documents in PDF format
- Paste charts as an image - note: this restricts your ability to alter the chart in PowerPoint or Word

Keyboard shortcuts

CTRL + C: Copy selected chart
CTRL + V: Paste chart as Microsoft Object


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, I'll show a couple of different ways to export charts. 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 paste 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 in 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 options is a much better way to go.