How to Embed Excel into PowerPoint

Embedding Excel files into PowerPoint presentations can be very useful for displaying data visually. There are a few methods you can use to embed Excel files, each with their own pros and cons. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the different options to embed Excel into PowerPoint.

Why Embed Excel into PowerPoint

Here are some of the key benefits of embedding Excel files into your PowerPoint presentations:

  • Visualize data: Charts, graphs, and tables from Excel can be displayed visually in PowerPoint slides to showcase data. This makes the data more engaging and easier to comprehend.
  • Retain functionality: Embedded Excel files retain some functionality within PowerPoint, allowing you to interact with the data. For example, you may be able to sort tables or update links.
  • Maintain formatting: When you copy and paste an Excel table or chart into PowerPoint, the formatting is retained. This saves time compared to recreating visuals manually.
  • Enhance professionalism: Visually displaying data boosts the professionalism and credibility of your presentations.
  • Convenience: Embedding Excel files allows you to easily update data and charts, saving time compared to recreating visuals.

Ways to Embed Excel Files into PowerPoint

There are a few different ways you can embed Excel files into PowerPoint slides:

Copy and Paste

This method allows you to quickly embed a copied selection from Excel into a PowerPoint slide:

  1. In Excel, select the table, chart, or data range you want to copy.
  2. Copy the selection (Ctrl/Command + C).
  3. In PowerPoint, paste the copied content into the desired slide (Ctrl/Command + V).
  4. In the popup menu, choose an option like “Keep Source Formatting” to embed the Excel content.

Pros: Quick and easy method.

Cons: Can lose functionality, updates don’t flow through.

Insert Object

The insert object method embeds the entire Excel file into PowerPoint:

  1. In PowerPoint, go to the Insert tab and click Object.
  2. Select “Create from File” then browse and select your Excel file.
  3. Check “Link” to create a link to the file.

Pros: Retains more functionality, links to file.

Cons: Embeds entire file increasing file size.

Paste Link

Pasting an Excel selection into PowerPoint as a link embeds data but maintains a connection:

  1. In Excel, copy your selected table, chart, or data range.
  2. In PowerPoint, use Paste Special > Paste Link and select “Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object”.

Pros: Links to Excel file, updates flow through.

Cons: Requires Excel file location to be maintained.

Paste Picture

To embed an Excel selection as a static picture:

  1. In Excel, copy your selected table, chart or data range.
  2. In PowerPoint, use Paste Special > Paste Picture.

Pros: Prevents access to Excel file data.

Cons: Loses functionality, no updating.

Embedding Excel Charts vs Data Ranges

When embedding Excel content into PowerPoint, you can embed full worksheets, charts, tables or data ranges. Some key points:

  • Charts retain more functionality when embedded compared to ranges
  • Embedding large ranges can cause file size and performance issues
  • Tables provide structure but may lose some functionality
  • Worksheets embed your full Excel data including sensitive content

In most cases, embedding Excel charts strikes the right balance of visual appeal and functionality.

Editing Embedded Excel Files

If you embed an Excel file in PowerPoint using Insert Object or Paste Link, you can open the file later to edit the original data:

  • Double click the embedded object to open the Excel file
  • Edit the data as required
  • Save and close the Excel file
  • Return to PowerPoint, right click the object and select “Update Link”

This allows you to modify the Excel data which updates seamlessly in your presentation.

Sharing PowerPoint Files with Embedded Excel

A key consideration when embedding Excel files in PowerPoint is how presentations will be shared:

  • Anyone you share the PowerPoint with will have access to the embedded Excel data
  • If sensitive data is contained in the Excel file, it’s best to use Paste Picture
  • To retain links between Excel and PowerPoint files, ensure both files stay together
  • Consider password protecting or converting Excel files to PDFs if the data is sensitive

Tips for Embedding Excel Files

Follow these tips when embedding Excel files into PowerPoint:

  • Copy charts instead of large ranges of cells
  • Check for hidden sheets or sensitive data before embedding
  • Use Paste Picture if you want to prevent access to the Excel data
  • Turn off gridlines and filter buttons in Excel before copying to PowerPoint
  • Maintain links by keeping Excel and PowerPoint files together in the same folder


Embedding Excel files, specifically charts and tables, into PowerPoint is a great way to incorporate data visually in your presentations. By following the right method and these best practices, you can enhance engagement and understanding for your audience. Just be mindful of functionality loss and sensitive data exposure when embedding Excel files in PowerPoint.