4. Importing Charts from Excel

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If our chart's data is in an Excel sheet, we're better off pasting the chart from Excel. Learn how and why to do this in a very quick lesson.

Lesson Notes

Importing charts in Excel

- Paste a chart from Excel to link your chart's data source to an Excel sheet
- Be careful about moving / deleting spreadsheet content which can break this link


The data for our PowerPoint charts often comes from Excel files.

In this scenario, it makes sense to create the chart first in Excel and then import it into PowerPoint.

When you do it this way, the PowerPoint chart is automatically linked to the Excel data and so if the data changes, the chart updates automatically.

Let’s start off by copying this Excel chart with Ctrl + C, I’ll go to our PowerPoint slide and press Ctrl + V to paste the chart.

We can now format this chart as we normally would in PowerPoint.

So I can make it bigger, I can increase the size of the text, I can remove the legend, and so on.

To demonstrate the link between the Excel sheet and this chart, we can right click and go to Edit Data, and this brings up the Excel sheet from earlier.

If we change one of the values, let’s say to 800,000 and then return to our PowerPoint slide, you can see that the data has been updated automatically here as well.

One note of warning, when linking your PowerPoint charts to Excel files, if you delete the data in the spreadsheet, or move or delete the Excel document, the link to the PowerPoint chart can easily be broken.

So be sure to catalog correctly in your documents the various links between spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations.