Link PPT charts with Excel - How to keep your data up to date!

2 min read
October 9, 2017

Meaningful facts and data are the basis of any successful presentation. It can, however, easily occur that old figures have snuck into your presentation. Learn how to always keep your charts up to date while simultaneously saving time!

Link PowerPoint charts with Excel in 8 steps

  1. Open the Excel file.
  2. Select the table and insert chart via Insert.
  3. Copy chart to clipboard.
  4. Open PowerPoint file.
  5. Click Paste via the Home ribbon.
  6. Select the option Match Destination Formatting.
  7. Select chart.
  8. In Draft execute the function Update data.



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How can I update the charts linked with Excel?

However, when working with the standard PowerPoint feature, you often find limited possibilities. If you insert your data from a website into your Excel chart, you can update your data in Excel with only a few clicks. In PowerPoint, however, it is not that easy. Charts are not automatically refreshed when the presentation is opened, and unfortunately, the automatic update is not 100% reliable, so it quickly happens that changes to the Excel file are missed. The result is that your presentation is no longer up-to-date and in the worst case the wrong data is presented! In addition, one can easily lose track of several diagrams in a presentation. So it is e.g. When renaming or moving the Excel file(s) it is necessary to repair each link individually.

In our article "Automatically update PowerPoint Excel links" we will show you how to avoid this problem. 

Link PPT charts with Excel

Advantages of PowerPoint-Excel-links:

  • Update data automatically - changes do not have to be manually transferred from Excel to PowerPoint
  • Intuitive and easy creation of simple links

Drawback of PowerPoint-Excel-links:

  • Links can only be corrected individually
  • There are no relative file paths possible
  • When you open the presentation, the charts are not updated automatically by default
    Automatic updating is not always reliable in Office 2021 (for example, when a link needed to be repaired)
  • Existing charts in PowerPoint can not be linked (you must always copy an Excel chart).
  • No possibility for clean separation of data management and visualization (all diagrams must be additionally available in Excel)
  • In older versions of Office, native joins are generally not always stable

For more tips and tricks for your work with Excel and other Microsoft applications, check out our Microsoft 365 guide.

Are you looking for an alternative to PPT native Excel linking? Then find out more about our empower® Chart Creation solution

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