How to Insert Excel Chart into PowerPoint (4 Easy Ways)

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Instead of presenting raw data, presenting a chart is more practical for data visualization and efficiency. A wide range of users including business experts to data analysts use Microsoft Excel for tracking and managing data. It is a very common practice to move a chart created in Excel to PowerPoint for presentation purposes. In this article, we will demonstrate how we can insert an Excel Chart into a PowerPoint slide.

Insert Excel chart into PowerPoint

How to Insert Chart in Excel

If you don’t have an Excel chart, you can easily create one using its features. Suppose, we have a dataset like the following. It contains the Company’s sales records of six employees from January to March. We are going to use this to plot a chart within Excel.

Excel dataset

To create the chart, we need to select the dataset (the range B5:E10) and go to the Insert tab on the ribbon. There we can find a wide range of chart options from the Charts group.

selecting a 2-D column for the dataset

Select the one you prefer from there. You can find a variety of them from the drop-down too. We have selected a 2-D Column from the Column Chart drop-down and so we have the following chart to work with here.

chart prepared in Excel

How to Insert Excel Chart into PowerPoint: 4 Suitable Ways

With the chart created above, we are going to demonstrate all of the methods we can insert this chart into a PowerPoint presentation. The idea is to copy the chart to the clipboard and paste it into the slide.

All of the methods result in almost the same output more or less. However, some may give us a dynamic chart where the charts update automatically with the change of data in Excel. While some methods give us more static images like charts.

Method 1: Using Keyboard Shortcuts to Paste Chart from Clipboard

This is the simplest and quickest method to insert an Excel chart into a PowerPoint slide. The process does not embed an actual link, although it may update the charts in PowerPoint from Excel automatically. Sometimes this may result in outdated or inconsistent information. Nevertheless, we can use this in everyday scenarios where presenting an outcome of a certain time is more of a priority.

  • Go to the Excel spreadsheet and select the chart by clicking on it.
  • Then copy the chart using Ctrl+C on your keyboard.

copying the chart from Excel using keyboard shortcuts

  • Now go to the PowerPoint slide where you want to paste the chart and press Ctrl+V.

pasting the chart using keyboard shortcut

That is all it takes to insert an Excel chart into a PowerPoint presentation through copying and pasting.

Read More: How to Copy Chart from Excel to PowerPoint Without Link

Method 2: Insert Chart from Clipboard Through PowerPoint’s Paste Option

This method is the same as the previous one, just that we are using the Paste option provided in the PowerPoint to insert the Excel chart. So the advantages and disadvantages involved are basically the same.

  • First, we need to copy the chart from the Excel spreadsheet. We can do that by pressing Ctrl+C on your keyboard after selecting the chart.

copying the chart for the paste option method

Note: As we are using ribbon commands here, we can also do this by the Copy option available in the Clipboard group of the Excel ribbon.

  • Now we can select Paste available in the Clipboard group of the Home tab available in Microsoft PowerPoint to insert it into the selected slide.

pressing paste in powerpoint

  • Or you can select the downward-facing arrow below Paste to find more options and select the one you find appropriate.

paste options available in powerpoint

Note: The latter one provides more control, consistency, and accessibility over the pasted content, not just for charts but for everything to paste from a clipboard.

Method 3: Link Dynamic Charts Using Insert Command

Following the previous two methods give us more of a static chart. But what if we need a dynamic one that can update if we change the data in the Excel spreadsheet? This section will have this covered.

This can be ignored in most cases, but it will be extremely helpful if the data changes constantly and the instantaneous data is more important for the presentation, especially in those spreadsheets where data is collected through online platforms automatically.
  • This method doesn’t require any copying like the other methods. Instead, go to the Insert tab on the Powerpoint ribbon and select Object from the Text

inserting object option in powerpoint

  • A new box will pop up named Insert Object. Select the Create from file option and Browse the Excel file that contains the chart and check the Link.

inserting object from file option

  • After that, click on OK.

Excel chart as an object in powerpoint

As we can see from the image above, this also imports the dataset along with the chart. Basically, this method imports the whole sheet from Excel and the slide will contain everything it has.

Note: This method only imports charts, datasets, and other objects from the first spreadsheet. So if the concerned chart is in any other sheets, put them in the first one or this will not work.

Method 4: Link Excel Chart Using Paste Special Option of PowerPoint

We can also copy a chart and create a link with the Excel spreadsheet. By principle, this is half of the static methods and half of the dynamic. But in the end, it creates a dynamic chart and a recommended one as it doesn’t require your chart to be in the first sheet in your Excel file, nor does it import datasets and other objects along with it.

One advantage the previous method has over it is that it didn’t require the Excel file to open. However, it isn’t an issue for most of the users in most of the cases.

  • Copy the chart first from the Excel spreadsheet, either using the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+C) or from the Copy command in the ribbon.

copying the chart to use the paste special feature

  • Then go to the slide in the PowerPoint and select the Paste Special option from the drop-down menu that appears once you click on the downward-facing arrow below the Paste.

paste special option in powerpoint

  • Select Paste Link on the left side of the Paste Special box that popped up and click on OK.

paste link in the paste special box

  • This will insert the Excel chart into the PowerPoint file.

Insert Excel chart into PowerPoint

Using this method not only inserts the chart but also connects them through a link. So once, the Excel data or chart is updated, the chart in the PowerPoint also updates.

Read More: How to Copy Table from Excel to Powerpoint with Formatting

How to Refresh Linked Excel Charts

One of the disadvantages involved in copying and pasting methods (1 & 2) is that it doesn’t update automatically every time with the change of data in the Excel worksheet. However, you can refresh the charts manually to counteract this problem.

Suppose, we change the data in cell E6 of our dataset.

change of data in spreadsheet

But the chart in PowerPoint didn’t update automatically.

unchanged chart in powerpoint

In these cases, there is an option called Refresh Data that can help us update the chart after editing the Excel file.

You can find the option in the Data group of the Chart Design tab from the PowerPoint ribbon.

refreshed chart in powerpoint

Note: The Chart Design and Format tabs only appear on the ribbon once you have clicked on the chart.

How to Troubleshoot Linked Charts in Excel

Facing issues such as updates with linked charts is not uncommon. If you are facing these issues or if you just want to maintain them in your PowerPoint presentation, here are some troubleshooting steps.

  • Make sure the Excel file is in the same folder as when it was linked.
  • Check if the Excel file name has been changed. The file name should remain unchanged for the link to work.
  • Be sure to save the workbook before linking.
  • Sometimes you may have to update links manually. Right-click on the chart on PowerPoint and select Update Link to update the link of the Excel file. This is helpful if the file path or name is changed.
  • Check for missing data in Excel.
  • Check for compatibility issues and updates for both Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Recreate the chart.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • How do I update a chart in PowerPoint that is linked to an Excel file?

In the PowerPoint slide where you want to update the chart, right-click on the chart and select Update Link from the context menu. This will open the Excel file and enable you to edit it there. After your edits, save and close the file. The chart will be updated.

  • How do I change the chart type in PowerPoint?

To update the chart type, right-click on it and you will find the Change Chart Type option. You can change the type from here to the available options.

  • Can I customize chart designs in PowerPoint?

Yes. Once you have clicked on the chart, you will find that new tabs such as Chart Design, Format, and Shape Format appear. You can change the design from the features available in the first two tabs.

  • Can I edit chart data in PowerPoint that is linked to Excel?

Yes, you can do that easily by right-clicking on the chart and selecting Edit Data from the context menu. The Excel file will open and you can make the necessary changes from that window.

  • Can I animate the Excel Chart in PowerPoint?

Yes, you can add visual effects such as fly-ins, fades, and other animations to the chart you have imported from Excel in PowerPoint.

Things to Remember

  • Make sure you have selected the chart before copying it.
  • Use Paste for a static chart that was copied from Excel, use Paste Special to enable the link option.
  • The Chart Design and Format tabs will only appear if you have selected the chart.

Download Practice Files

You can download the workbook as well as the PowerPoint file used for the demonstration from the link below.


That was all about adding Excel charts in PowerPoint. We have described how we can insert an Excel chart into PowerPoint using four different methods. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but using the proper one depends entirely on the user as the end result is pretty much the same. Hopefully, you can insert Excel charts into your PowerPoint presentations easily now. I hope you found this guide helpful and informative. If you have any questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments below.

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Yousuf Khan
Yousuf Khan

Hello! This is MD Yousuf Khan. I am a graduate & post-graduate in Information Technology from Jahangirnagar University, Bangladesh. Currently, I am writing articles for ExcelDemy. I am an independent, self-motivated person with enthusiasm to learn new things, and always try to do my best in any work assigned to me.

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