Why Can’t I Format Linked Data from Excel in PowerPoint?

  • When you copy an Excel chart or data and paste it into PowerPoint with the “Keep Source Formatting & Link Data” option, it initially links properly. But when you close and reopen the PowerPoint file, the links do not update automatically even if you have checked the “Automatically Update” box in PowerPoint’s Edit Links menu[1][5][19].
  • This appears to be a known issue with PowerPoint that has persisted across multiple Office versions. Microsoft has not provided an official fix, though some workarounds have been suggested[1][9][21].
  • Potential workarounds include pasting the data as a picture instead of linking, using VBA to force an update, and ensuring the entire chart is visible in the Excel sheet when updating links[1][5][22]. But these are clumsy and don’t resolve the underlying issue.
  • There are also problems with linked Excel charts not retaining formatting properly when pasted into PowerPoint, even if linking works initially[14][25].

In summary, there seems to be a fundamental issue with how PowerPoint handles linking and updating Excel data that Microsoft has not resolved. The suggested workarounds help in some cases but are unreliable. Until Microsoft fixes this properly, users will continue having problems updating linked Excel charts and data in PowerPoint. Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!