Would you like to create a world map in PowerPoint? Unfortunately, external map templates are usually inconsistent, difficult to format, and costly to buy from stock suppliers. We’ll show you how to insert and customize a world map in PowerPoint easily and free of charge.
Many people don’t know that PowerPoint already contains an integrated world map function. The world map is available as a free PowerPoint chart in Office 2019 / Office 365. You can use PowerPoint maps to visually illustrate data by coloring, highlighting, and formatting individual countries or the entire world. You can even focus on specific regions / states, cities, and postcodes.
Do you need to highlight or compare a country or district color? A PowerPoint ‘‘cartogram’’ (a combination of a chart/diagram and a map) can illustrate geographic data at a glance. Whether the expansion of your company into new countries or your products’ trade routes, a PowerPoint world map clearly and engagingly conveys information quickly.
PowerPoint mapping requires at least Windows 10 and Office 2019 or Office 365. In addition, an Internet connection is required to create or update maps. However, simply viewing a map works without a connection.
Bing drives the functionality behind the PowerPoint maps. The map diagram connects to Bing to get geographic data. You need to grant Bing permission before using PowerPoint maps, and that requires an Internet connection. Bing ensures that you always have the most current data available for your world maps.
Where do you find the PowerPoint world map feature? It’s not obvious – PowerPoint considers maps to be charts:
As soon as you have inserted the world map, a diagram and a default Excel table with different countries and example values appears automatically. Use the Excel table to insert, change, and delete countries and values. You can view and adjust the corresponding values in the Excel column “Series 1”. Your world map automatically changes the color shading of individual countries as soon as you change values in the Excel table.
Click on the X in the upper right corner of the Excel table to close it.
You can reopen the Excel table any time by right-clicking the map and choosing “Edit Data”. Or you can choose “Edit Data” from the Chart Tools > Design tab on the PowerPoint Ribbon.
You can choose different types of maps, for example you can focus on Germany or any other country in the world. If you select a specific country, you can highlight large cities, regions, or areas by postcodes, e.g. NRW, Bavaria and Schleswig-Holstein etc. or Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich etc.
Cities and regions can only be mapped on the same level. You can simultaneously map Cologne and Berlin, for example, but not Cologne and Bavaria.
The following is an overview of the different display options of your PowerPoint map.View: World Map
USA and Great Britain
View: Region / Federal States
New York State
District in Manhatten - NYC
Once you have created your world map or map, you can customize its format and how it’s displayed.
One way to customize your map is to use the Design and Format tabs in the PowerPoint Ribbon Chart Tools group.
Alternatively, double-clicking on the chart opens the formatting task pane on the right side of the PowerPoint window. Pay attention to which part of the map you click on, as the formatting task pane only refers to the selected map element, such as Format Chart Area, Format Plot Area, or Format Data Series.
You have several options for changing and positioning your title.
To change the position of your title or remove it completely:
If you click on “More Title Options...”, the Format Chart Title task pane opens. That task pane also opens when you double-click on the map title.
You can also click on the large plus (+) symbol next to your map to adjust the Chart Title.
Would you like country data to appear on the map? Here’s how:
If you select “More Data Label Options…”, the Format Data Labels task pane opens with additional data label configuration options.
You can also click on the large plus (+) symbol next to your map to adjust Data Labels.
The Format Data Labels task pane includes additional options:
Text color, size, and effects:
You can change title and label text formatting by:
Right-click or double-click on the title and label to change fonts, sizes, colors. Right-clicking gives you the most options. The task pane controls special effects like text fill, outline, shadows, and more.
Delete data values:
To delete all data labels from the map, right-click on a value and choose “Delete”. To delete a specific data label but not all, click on the data label you want to delete and press the Delete key.
To add comments to your PowerPoint map, right-click anywhere your map and choose “New Comment”. The Comments task pane contains all comments on a map.
Before you change colors, consider carefully what color scheme to use, so that your map harmonizes with the entire presentation.
You can adjust your map’s colors in several ways:
You can define a color scheme for all regions that you enter in your Excel table. Remember, when adjusting individual countries’ colors, use colors that fit your overall color scheme and complement the rest of your map.
To color your map’s background, click on the outer edge of the map to open the Format Chart Area task pane to adjust “Fill” and “Line”. You can also right-click on the map edge to open a popup menu with the same options.
You can animate your map. Animation might be suitable if you want to demonstrate the evolution of different values.
Use preview mode to confirm that your animation works as expected.
Excel 2019 also includes map charts. Excel has more extended map functions than PowerPoint: PowerPoint’s map function is limited to 12 data points, while Excel maps can include more. Also, Excel supports easier mapping using postal codes from more countries.
To take advantage of Excel’s enhanced map functions in PowerPoint:
Changes made to the map in Excel automatically update the copy of the map in PowerPoint.
If you don’t have the right version of PowerPoint or you want to avoid all these steps, you can also use templates provided by Microsoft.
Microsoft’s world map templates can be found here:
As the world map function is still relatively new, there are still some limitations and room for improvement:
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And if our overview of PowerPoint’s world map functionality has given you a taste for more PowerPoint knowledge, you can read about 16 PowerPoint expert hacks in our free e-book.