Insert charts using Microsoft Graph

Applies to
Microsoft Office Excel® 2003
Microsoft Office PowerPoint® 2003
Microsoft Office Word® 2003
Book cover This article was adapted from Microsoft Office System Inside Out by Michael J. Young and Michael Halvorson. Visit Microsoft Learning to buy this book.

Using the Microsoft Graph program, you can insert charts into your Office documents. Graph supports a wide variety of chart types and provides a handy alternative to using Excel charts.

The fastest way to create a chart with the Graph program is to use a Word table (you can later move the chart to a different Office application). To do this:

  1. Create a table in a Word document, enter into this table the data that you want to graph, and then select the entire table. (An easy way to select an entire table is to place the insertion point within the table and on the Table menu, point to Select, and then click Table.) An example is shown below.

Word table example

  1. On the Insert menu, point to Picture, and then click Chart. If Chart is not available, you need to install Microsoft Graph.


If you originally installed Microsoft Office from a network file server or from a shared folder, you must install Microsoft Graph from that location. If you installed Office from a CD-ROM, you must install Graph from the disc.

  1. Quit all programs.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • If you run Microsoft Windows 2000, double-click the Add/Remove Programs icon in Control Panel.
    • If you run Microsoft Windows XP, click Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel.
  3. In the Currently installed programs box, click the listing for Microsoft Office or the individual Office program, depending on whether you installed the program as part of Office or individually, and then click Change.
  4. On the Maintenance Mode Options screen, click Add or Remove Features, and then click Next.
  5. If a Custom Setup screen appears, select the Choose advanced customization of applications check box, and then click Next.
  6. In the list of features to install, click the expand indicator (+) next to Office Tools.
  7. Click the arrow next to Microsoft Graph, and then click Run from My Computer.
  8. Click Update.
  9. Restart the Office program you were using.

Graph will immediately embed a chart into the document that depicts the data contained in the Word table. Graph will also display a datasheet containing the chart data. The datasheet contains a copy of the data from the original Word table that you selected. If you want to change the values plotted on the chart, you must edit the numbers within the datasheet, not within the original table.

Chart embedded in a Word document

  1. You can make modifications to the chart using the menu commands and toolbar buttons provided by the Graph program. You can access detailed online information on using the Graph commands by clicking Microsoft Graph Help on the Help menu or by pressing F1.
  2. To change the chart’s size or proportions, drag the sizing handles displayed around the embedded chart object.
  3. When you’ve finished modifying the chart, click in the Word document outside the chart and the datasheet. The datasheet and the menu commands and toolbar buttons provided by the Graph program will disappear, leaving the chart embedded in your document.


  • The Graph program toolbar buttons and menu commands are available (interspersed with Word commands) whenever the Graph chart is opened in editing mode (it’s opened in this mode when you first insert it). If you click outside the chart, it will no longer be in editing mode—to reopen the chart in editing mode, double-click it.
  • The table and chart aren’t linked. Once the chart is inserted, a copy of the data from the table in the Word document is stored independently within the embedded chart object. Changing the table data won’t affect the chart; in fact, you can delete the Word table if you want to.
  • If you want to modify the chart later, simply double-click the embedded chart object. The commands provided by Graph will return, and you can change the features of the chart. If the datasheet isn’t visible and you need to change the numbers shown on the chart, you can display it. On the View menu, click Datasheet or click the View Datasheet button button image on the Graph toolbar.
  • If you want to display the chart within another Office document (for example, in a PowerPoint presentation), select the Chart object, cut or copy it, and then paste it into the other document.
  • You can modify a chart’s appearance using the Picture toolbar or the Picture tab of the Format Object dialog box. If the Picture toolbar isn’t visible, you can view it by pointing to Toolbars on the View menu, and then clicking Picture.
  • If you embed a new Graph chart within a program other than Word (by choosing the Object command from the program’s Insert menu and then selecting Microsoft Graph Chart), or if you embed a new Graph chart in a Word document without first selecting a table containing valid chart data, Graph will create an example chart displaying example data. You then need to manually enter the actual data, as well as the row and column headings, cell by cell, into the Graph datasheet.

You can also import data into the datasheet from an Excel workbook or other file. To import data, make sure that the Graph object is active, and then on the Edit menu, click Import File, and select the file in the Import Data dialog box.

Applies to:
Excel 2003, PowerPoint 2003, Word 2003