Creating Charts

Microsoft PowerPoint 2010

It is very easy to create charts in PowerPoint. You can also create a chart in Excel and paste it into PowerPoint. General rule of thumb is that if you just need to create a chart, either method is fine. If you have a lot of underlying data that you wish to analyze in other ways, create and maintain the data in Excel and copy the chart into PowerPoint.

Create a Chart in PowerPoint

If you select a layout that allows for object insertion you'll see this icon in the centre of the slide . Click on the Insert chart icon (second one, top row), then skip to step 3.)

  1. In Normal view,  display the side you wish to create a chart on.
  2. Display the Insert ribbon and click on the button. The following window appears:
  3. Select the type of chart you wish to create from the left menu, i.e. Column chart, Pie chart, etc.
  4. Select a chart example for the chart type from the samples shown then choose OK. A spreadsheet window will open displaying the following:
  5. Enter your data into the spreadsheet, typing over the existing data. As you type, your chart populates in your document.
  6. When done you can close the Excel window.
  7. The following illustrates data entered into the Excel spreadsheet and the result based on a 3D Clustered Column chart.


Chart Tools Ribbons

When you select a chart (with a single click), you will notice three new Chart Tools ribbons are available: Design, Layout and Format. (You won't see them unless a chart is selected). Using buttons available within these ribbons you can edit your chart in a variety of ways. Since the combination is almost limitless, the best way to view the effects of these changes in your chart is to try them. If you're afraid of mucking up your chart, remember you can either undo the changes or save your document before playing. That way if you don't like the result you can simply exit the document without saving the changes and open the document in its previously saved state.

Design Ribbon

Use the Design ribbon to change design aspects of your chart, i.e.:

Layout Ribbon

Use the Layout ribbon to change layout aspects of your chart, i.e.:

Format Ribbon

Use the Format ribbon to change formatting aspects of your chart, i.e.:

If you want to make your chart look extra special, try filling the bars or pie areas with Fill Effects.

Additional References