PowerPoint 2013: Embedding an Excel Chart

Microsoft PowerPoint provides the ability to embed charts from Excel directly into your PowerPoint presentations. This allows you to easily include dynamic, up-to-date charts based on Excel data in your slides.

Embedding an Excel chart into PowerPoint is a straightforward process that only takes a few steps. This article will walk you through the full instructions for adding charts from Excel spreadsheets to PowerPoint slides.


Before getting started, make sure you have the following:

  • Microsoft PowerPoint 2013 installed
  • Microsoft Excel 2013 with a spreadsheet containing the data you want to chart
  • The Excel spreadsheet should remain open while embedding the chart

Step-by-Step Guide

Follow these steps to embed a chart from Excel into PowerPoint:

Select the Chart in Excel

  1. Open the Excel workbook containing the chart you want to embed
  2. Select the chart to activate the Chart Tools ribbon
  3. With the chart selected, copy the chart to the clipboard (CTRL+C)

Paste the Chart in PowerPoint

  1. Open the PowerPoint presentation
  2. Select the slide where you want the chart to appear
  3. Paste the chart from the clipboard into the slide (CTRL+V)

Note: You can also paste by going to the Home tab and selecting “Paste”

Edit and Customize the Embedded Chart

With the embedded chart inserted into PowerPoint, you can now customize and edit it:

  • Resize the Chart – Click and drag the corners and edges to resize
  • Change Chart Type – Go to Chart Tools > Design > Change Chart Type
  • Edit Data – Go to Chart Tools > Design > Edit Data to change the data series
  • Update Data – Go to Chart Tools > Design > Update Data to update links
  • Apply Chart Styles – Go to Chart Tools > Design > Chart Styles

The Excel chart is now embedded into your PowerPoint slide. When you update the source Excel spreadsheet, you can update the links to have the embedded chart in PowerPoint update as well.

Embedding Multiple Excel Charts

You can add multiple Excel charts onto the same PowerPoint slide or across multiple slides:

  • Copy and paste additional charts from Excel as needed
  • Customize, arrange, and resize the charts to fit your slide
  • Make sure to organize your PowerPoint notes for each embedded chart

Linking the Excel and PowerPoint Files

When you embed an Excel chart, it inserts a copy onto the PowerPoint slide but does not link the files. To link the files:

  1. In PowerPoint, right-click the embedded chart and select “Edit Data”
  2. In the Excel window that opens, check the box for “Link to file”
  3. Update the file path if needed to link to the Excel file location
  4. Click OK to apply the link between the Excel and PowerPoint files

Now when the Excel file is updated, you can refresh the links in PowerPoint to have the embedded charts update.

Troubleshooting Tips

Here are some troubleshooting tips for working with embedded Excel charts:

  • If copy/paste is not working, try restarting both Excel and PowerPoint
  • Check that your Excel security settings allow external connections
  • If the embedded chart is not updating, verify the Excel file location links
  • Use Paste Special to paste as a Microsoft Office Graphic if needed

Advantages of Embedded Excel Charts

Embedding Excel charts directly into PowerPoint provides the following advantages:

  • Live data links – Charts update when Excel data changes
  • Data visualization – Present charts alongside slides content
  • Editing – Modify charts right within PowerPoint
  • Organization – Keep related PowerPoint notes with each chart
  • Portability – Package Excel data together with presentation

By following the simple steps in this guide, you can start enhancing your PowerPoint decks today with dynamic, linked Excel charts.