Insert a bar chart

Insert a linked Excel bar chart

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One way to insert a bar chart into PowerPoint is to create the chart in Excel and copy it, keeping a link to the original, if you want.

Copy an Excel chart

If your data is complex or you plan to update it frequently, create the chart in Excel, and copy it into PowerPoint. Here’s how:

  1. In Excel, click the chart that you want to copy to another Office program, and press Ctrl+C.

  2. Open PowerPoint, click where you want to paste the chart, and press Ctrl+V.

  3. Click Paste Options next to the chart, and choose how you want to paste the chart. For more information about the different options you can choose from, see Copy an Excel chart to another Office program.

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Change the format of data labels in a chart

Copy an Excel chart to another Office program

One way to insert a bar chart into PowerPoint is to create the chart in Excel and copy it, keeping a link to the original, if you want.

To do that, when you are ready to copy the chart, right-click it, and click Copy to copy it to the Clipboard.

In PowerPoint, display the destination slide and right-click it.

You get several Paste Options.

The first two will embed the chart, either using the destination theme or keeping the source formatting.

The second two options link the chart, either using the destination theme or keeping the source formatting.

I’ll choose the third option, Use Destination Theme & Link Data.

That pastes and links the chart.

Now, let’s adapt it to the presentation.

To make it larger, I’ll leave it selected and click the CHART TOOLS FORMAT tab.

In the Size group, I’ll click the Size and Position arrow, and I’ll check Lock aspect ratio.

Then, for Scale Height, I’ll increase the percentage to 175, and press Enter.

We can click X to close the Format Chart Area pane.

To position the chart, I’ll point to an edge and drag the four-pointed arrow cursor, eyeballing the placement for now.

Next, let’s click the CHART TOOLS DESIGN tab, and in Chart Styles, point to other possible styles for the chart.

I see a preview when I point. How about this one, Style 3.

Back in the original Excel chart, let’s say I update the chart.

In QTR4, Actual expenses, I’ll double-click the cell, change it from $100 to $138, and press Enter.

Now, Actual expenses exceed the Projected ones, as reflected in the orange bar for that quarter.

If I have the linked copy of the chart open in PowerPoint, it updates automatically.

If the linked chart isn’t open when the chart is updated in Excel, I open PowerPoint, select the chart, click the CHART TOOLS DESIGN tab and click Refresh Data.

That updates the chart.

For more information, see the course summary, and experiment some more with PowerPoint.

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