PowerPoint 2007: Working with Charts

There are two main ways to insert charts in PowerPoint 2007:

  1. Insert a new chart from scratch:
    • On the Insert tab, click the Chart button in the Illustrations group.
    • Select the desired chart type in the dialog box and click OK. This inserts a chart with sample data.
  2. Copy a chart from Excel:
    • Create the chart in Excel with your own data.
    • Copy the chart and paste it into your PowerPoint slide. This links the chart to the Excel data, allowing automatic updates.

When inserting a new chart, you can edit the sample data by clicking on the data points or axis labels. PowerPoint will launch Excel where you can modify the data.

Modifying Charts

Once inserted, charts can be formatted and customized using the Chart Tools tabs that appear on the ribbon – Design, Layout, and Format. Key things you can modify:

  • Chart Type – Change to a different chart type like bar, line, pie etc.
  • Chart Styles – Apply predefined styles and color schemes.
  • Chart Elements – Add/remove individual items like the legend, data labels, gridlines etc.
  • Data – Edit the source data for the chart in Excel.

Linking to Excel Data

Charts linked to Excel data will update automatically when the source Excel worksheet changes. This link can be broken however if the Excel file location changes.

To edit linked data, click the “Edit Data” button on the Design tab. This will launch the source Excel file where you can modify the data.

Best Practices

When working with charts in PowerPoint:

  • Create the chart in PowerPoint instead of copying from Excel
  • Select the right chart type for your message
  • Limit the data to focus on your key point
  • Clean up chart elements like gridlines that distract from the data

Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!