Use charts and graphs in your presentation

Office PowerPoint 2007 includes many different types of data charts and graphs including column charts, line graphs, pie charts, bar charts, area graphs, scatter graphs, stock charts, surface charts, doughnut charts, bubble graphs, and radar graphs.

 Important   If Microsoft Office Excel 2007 isn't installed on your computer, you will not be able to take advantage of the advanced data charting capabilities in the 2007 Microsoft Office system. For more information, see the article Overview of charting.

If Office Excel 2007 is not installed, when you create a new data chart in Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2007, Microsoft Graph opens. A chart then appears with its associated data in a table called a datasheet. You can enter your own data in the datasheet, import data from a text file to the datasheet, or paste data from another program to the datasheet.

In this article


Overview of data charting and graphing

You can add a data chart or graph to your presentation in one of two ways:

  • You can create a chart or graph in your presentation.    When you create a new chart in PowerPoint, you edit the data for that chart in Office Excel 2007, but the data is saved with the PowerPoint file.
  • You can paste an Excel chart or graph into your presentation and link to the data in an Office Excel 2007 file.    When you copy a chart from a saved Office Excel 2007 file and paste it into your presentation, the data in the chart is linked to that Excel file. If you want to change the data in the chart, you must make your changes to the linked worksheet in Office Excel 2007 and then refresh the data in your PowerPoint presentation. The Excel worksheet is a separate file and is not saved with the PowerPoint file.

 Note   If you open a presentation that was created in an earlier version of PowerPoint and the presentation contains a graph or chart that was created by using Microsoft Graph, PowerPoint 2007 will maintain the look and feel of the graph or chart, and let you continue to update your graph or chart.

Chart from sample data

A chart in PowerPoint that is made up of sample data from an Excel worksheet

Insert a chart or graph in your presentation

Do the following when you want to create a new chart or graph in PowerPoint:

  1. In PowerPoint, click the placeholder (placeholders: Boxes with dotted borders that are part of most slide layouts. These boxes hold title and body text or objects such as charts, tables, and pictures.) that you want to contain the chart.
  2. On the Insert tab, in the Illustrations group, click Chart.
  3. In the Insert Chart dialog box, click a chart, and then click OK.

Office Excel 2007 opens in a split window and displays sample data on a worksheet.

Sample data for chart

Sample data on an Excel worksheet
  1. In Excel, to replace the sample data, click a cell on the worksheet, and then type the data that you want.

You can also replace the sample axis (axis: A line bordering the chart plot area used as a frame of reference for measurement. The y axis is usually the vertical axis and contains data. The x-axis is usually the horizontal axis and contains categories.) labels in Column A and the legend (legend: A box that identifies the patterns or colors that are assigned to the data series or categories in a chart.) entry name in Row 1.

 Note   After you update the worksheet, the chart in PowerPoint updates automatically with the new data.

  1. When you are finished inputting the data in Excel, on the File menu, click Close.

 Note   To change the data in a chart you've inserted,     use the Edit Data command. To learn more about the Edit Data command, see Change the data in an existing chart.

Watch the demo: Insert a chart or graph in your presentation

Watch this! Demo button

Duration: 4:41 minutes

PowerPoint slide with stacked column chart

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Paste an Excel chart or graph into your presentation and link to data in Excel

You create and copy the chart or graph in Office Excel 2007 and then paste it into your PowerPoint presentation. When you update the data in the linked Office Excel 2007 file, you can update the chart in PowerPoint by using the Refresh Data command.

To learn more about copying and pasting Excel charts and graphs into your PowerPoint presentation, see the article Copy Excel data or charts to PowerPoint. You can also download the EzPaste tool to completely automate updating your charts.

 Note   If you want to be able to automatically update or refresh the data in your chart or graph, you must save the Excel file before inserting the chart or graph.

  1. In Excel, select the chart by clicking its border, and then on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Cut.
  2. In PowerPoint, click the placeholder (placeholders: Boxes with dotted borders that are part of most slide layouts. These boxes hold title and body text or objects such as charts, tables, and pictures.) on the slide or notes page that you want to insert the chart on.
  3. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the arrow under Paste, and then click Paste.

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Create another type of chart (flow chart, organization chart, timeline)

 Tip   If you don't know whether you need a data chart or some other type of graphic, see the article When should I use a SmartArt graphic and when should I use a chart?

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Applies to:
PowerPoint 2007