Easily Copy and Paste Linked Excel Charts onto PowerPoint Slides

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated December 16, 2016

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Windows)

It’s easy to insert a Microsoft Excel chart onto a PowerPoint slide and link it. If you choose to link to the Excel chart, you can refresh the chart when the Excel data changes. In this article, we’ll focus on copying and pasting an Excel chart onto a PowerPoint slide rather than inserting an object.

Recommended articles: How to Quickly Remove All Animations in PowerPoint or 10 Excel Data Entry Tricks and Shortcuts Every User Should Know

If you are a keyboard only user, you may want to check out our series first on using Microsoft Office programs with a keyboard.

Troubleshooting linking

In order to insert a linked Excel chart and maintain the links, you must:

  • Save the Excel workbook first before linking with PowerPoint.
  • Ensure the Excel file is not moved to another folder or the link will break.
  • Ensure the Excel file is not renamed or the link will break.

Linking increases file size

If you add a lot of linked Excel charts in a PowerPoint deck, it will increase the size of the PowerPoint file.

Inserting a linked Excel chart using the context menu

To insert a linked Excel chart on a PowerPoint slide using the context menu:

  1. Open the Excel workbook containing the chart you’d like to use.
  2. Save the workbook.
  3. Click in the chart.
  4. Right-click and select Copy. You can also press Shift + F10 or the Context button on your keyboard to display the context menu and then select Copy.
  5. Open the desired PowerPoint presentation, go to Normal View and display the slide where you want to insert the chart.
  6. On the Home tab in the Ribbon, select the Title Only layout from the Layout drop-down menu.
  7. Click in a blank area on the slide.
  8. Right-click and select one of the link buttons – Keep Source Formatting & Link Data or Use Destination Theme & Link Data. You can also press Shift + F10 or the Context button on your keyboard to display the context menu and then select the desired link option.
  9. If necessary, resize the chart by dragging the corner handles and move the chart by dragging it by its edge.

If you want the chart to keep its look and appearance from the Excel file, select Keep Source Formatting & Link Data.

Keep Excel chart source formatting when inserting into PowerPoint option.

If you want the chart to use the look and appearance of the PowerPoint presentation, select Use Destination Theme & Link Data.

Use destination theme option when pasting an Excel chart into PowerPoint.

If the chart does not format in PowerPoint using the destination theme, the chart may have been formatted in Excel using standard colors (which override theme colors) and non-theme fonts and/or may also be assigned a custom chart template.

Inserting a linked Excel chart using the Ribbon

To insert a linked Excel chart on a PowerPoint slide using the Ribbon:

  1. Open the Excel workbook containing the chart you want to use.
  2. Save the workbook.
  3. Click in the chart.
  4. On the Home tab in the Ribbon, click on Copy.
  5. Open the desired PowerPoint presentation, go to Normal View and display the slide where you want to insert the chart.
  6. On the Home tab in the Ribbon, select the Title Only layout from the Layout drop-down menu.
  7. Click in a blank area on the slide.
  8. On the Home tab in the Ribbon, click on the down arrow beside Paste and select Paste Special.
  9. Click on the Paste Link button and then select Microsoft Excel chart object.
  10. Click on OK.
  11. If necessary, resize the chart by dragging the corner handles and move the chart by dragging it by its edge.

Below is the Paste Link dialog box in PowerPoint:

Paste Link dialog box in PowerPoint.

Updating Links

To update the chart in PowerPoint if the Excel data has changed:

  1. In PowerPoint, in Normal View, click on the chart on the slide.
  2. Click on the Chart Tools Design tab in the Ribbon.
  3. In the Data group, click on Refresh Data.

Refresh data button on the Ribbon.

When you insert linked Excel charts, each time you open the presentation, PowerPoint should prompt you to update the links or Enable Content.

If the linked file has been moved or renamed, you’ll still be able to view and print the information but you won’t be able to update or edit it.

You can double-click on a linked chart object to open the Excel linked file and you can edit the data in Excel. When you save the edited file and return to PowerPoint, the updated information should appear automatically in your presentation.

Subscribe to get more articles like this one

Did you find this article helpful? If you would like to receive new articles, join our email list

Recommended Microsoft Office courses

Microsoft PowerPoint: Intermediate / Advanced

Microsoft PowerPoint: Design for Non-Designers

Microsoft Excel: Intermediate / Advanced

VIEW MORE COURSES >

Avantix Learning instructor-led classroom courses are held in downtown Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Contact us if you’d like to arrange custom training at your site or ours.

To request this page in an alternate format, contact us.

Copyright 2019 Avantix® Learning Inc.

You may also like

How to Create 3D References in Microsoft Excel

You can use 3D references in Excel formulas to calculate across multiple worksheets that are structured in the same way. A 3D reference refers to the same cell or range of cells on multiple worksheets.

Microsoft, the Microsoft logo, Microsoft Office and related Microsoft applications and logos are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in Canada, US and other countries. All other trademarks are the property of the registered owners.

Avantix Learning | 1 Yonge Street, Suite 1801 (Toronto Star Building), Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5E 1W7 | info@avantixlearning.ca

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This