How to Link Excel Chart to PowerPoint

Linking charts from Excel into your PowerPoint presentations is an excellent way to keep your data up-to-date and accurate. As someone who frequently builds presentations, let me walk you through the steps I use to successfully integrate Excel charts into PowerPoint.

Why Link Excel Charts?

There are a few key reasons why I always link my Excel charts into PowerPoint rather than copying static images:

  • Automatic Updates – If the data changes in Excel, the linked charts in PowerPoint update automatically next time I open the presentation. This saves me tons of time from having to manually update charts.
  • Retain Interactivity – Linked Excel charts retain their interactivity within PowerPoint. I can still hover over data points inside PowerPoint to see the underlying data values.
  • Format Flexibility – I can format linked charts directly within PowerPoint without impacting the original Excel file. This allows me to make PowerPoint-specific styling tweaks easily.
  • File Size – Linking charts keeps the overall file size smaller rather than embedding large chart images in the presentation. This makes sharing the file much easier.

Step-by-Step Tutorial

Without further ado, here is exactly how I link Excel charts into my PowerPoint presentations:

Copy the Chart

  1. Open the Excel workbook containing the chart you want to link.
  2. Select the chart and press Ctrl+C to copy it.

Paste Using “Paste Special” in PowerPoint

  1. Open the PowerPoint presentation and navigate to the slide you want to paste the chart into.
  2. Rather than doing a regular paste, go to the Home tab and click the arrow below Paste. Select Paste Special.
  3. In the Paste Special dialog box, select Paste link and choose Microsoft Excel Chart Object as the format.
  4. The chart will now be linked! You can move and resize it like any other PowerPoint object.

And that’s it! Now whenever the source Excel data changes, the linked chart in PowerPoint will update automatically. Let me know if you have any other questions!