Open the File Containing the Excel Chart

Add an Excel Chart to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Excel chart and data to be shown on PowerPoint slide.
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Excel Chart and Data

Charts can add a little extra punch to your powerpoint presentation instead of listing bullet points of data. Any chart created in Excel can be copied and pasted into your powerpoint presentation. There is no need to recreate the chart in powerpoint. The added bonus is that you can have the chart in your powerpoint presentation update with any changes made to the Excel data.

  1. Open the Excel file containing the chart you wish to copy.
  2. Right click on the Excel chart and choose Copy from the shortcut menu.


Use the Paste Special Command in powerpoint

Add an Excel Chart to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Using “Paste Special” Command in powerpoint.
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Use the Paste Special Command in powerpoint

Access the powerpoint slide where you wish to paste the Excel chart.

  • powerpoint 2010 and 2007 – On the Home tab of the ribbon, choose Paste > Paste Special…
  • powerpoint 2003 – Choose Edit > Paste Special… from the menu


The Paste Special Dialog Box in powerpoint

Add an Excel Chart to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Paste Special options when copying chart from Excel to powerpoint.
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Two Different Paste Options

The Paste Special dialog box offers two different options for pasting the Excel chart.

  • Paste – This option is as simple as pasting the copied Excel chart into the powerpoint presentation. This graphic will never change in the future if changes are made to the original Excel chart data. The Paste option is fine to use when you only need the chart for this one time only.
  • Paste link – This option will also paste the copied chart into the powerpoint presentation. The difference is that each time the Excel data is changed, the powerpoint chart will reflect this new data when the presentation is opened. The Paste link option is the most useful choice and most commonly used. You will know that your presentation is always current with any new data changes to the Excel file.


Change Chart Data in Original Excel File

Add an Excel Chart to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Excel chart updates when changes are made to data.
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See Changes in Chart in Excel File

To demonstrate the two different paste options when using the Paste Special command, make some changes to data in the original Excel file. Notice that the corresponding chart in the Excel file immediately changed to reflect this new data.


Pasting an Excel Chart Directly into powerpoint

Add an Excel Chart to Your PowerPoint Presentation

The Excel chart will not update when you use the “Paste” command to add a chart in powerpoint.
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Results When Pasting an Excel Chart

This Excel chart example was simply pasted into the powerpoint slide. Note that the changes to data that were made in the previous step, are not reflected on the slide.


Copy the Excel Chart Using Paste Link Option

Add an Excel Chart to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Use “Paste Link” Command to update the Excel chart in powerpoint when data changes in Excel.
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The Paste Link Option

This sample powerpoint slide shows the updated Excel chart. This chart was inserted using the Paste link option in the Paste Special dialog box.

Paste link is the better choice in most instances when copying an Excel chart. Your chart will always show current results from the Excel data.


Linked Files are Updated When Opened

Add an Excel Chart to Your PowerPoint Presentation

Prompt to update links when opening powerpoint.
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Linking powerpoint File to the Excel File

Each time you open a powerpoint presentation that is linked to another Microsoft Office product, such as Excel or Word, you will be prompted to update the links in the presentation file.

If you trust the source of the presentation, then choose to update the links. All links to other documents will be updated with any new changes. If you choose the Cancel option in this dialog box, the presentation will still open, but any new information contained in linked files, such as an Excel chart, will not be updated.

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