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Advanced PowerPoint 2007: Rediscover Charts

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This isn't a tutorial on how to make pivot tables or economic regressions, or how to balance your company's finances. Instead, here are the new features that the reworked charts in PowerPoint have to offer, including some tips and tricks that will enable you to do your job more efficiently.
This chapter is from the book

Brand new to Office 2007 is the new version of Charts to replace the old Microsoft Graph Chart and the Microsoft Excel Graph—both of which were inserted as OLE objects in previous versions of Office. While you can still insert these OLE objects, you will be hard-pressed to find an opportunity to do so, given that the renovated charts in Office 2007 look amazing and function much better.

This isn't a tutorial on how to make pivot tables or economic regressions, or how to balance your company's finances. Instead, let us walk you through the new features that the reworked charts have to offer, and hopefully some of the tips and tricks we show you will enable you to do your job more efficiently.

Inserting Excel Charts into PowerPoint

new.jpg There are a couple of important ways to get a chart into your presentation: You could use the commands found on the Ribbon to insert a generic chart with some default data, or you could copy and paste an existing chart from an Excel spreadsheet that contains the data you need.

Because charts are a graphical representation of data, and this data is usually in the form of tables or grids that you can find in Microsoft Excel, we're going to walk through copying and pasting charts from Excel first. Following that, we go into how to create a chart from scratch in PowerPoint.

Copying and Pasting

Charts are primarily a native Excel object. The data represented by the chart is contained within cells in a spreadsheet, but when you need to create a presentation, the best way to get a chart into PowerPoint from Excel is to copy and paste it.

Aside from the Copy and Paste buttons in the Clipboard group on the Home tab, you can use shortcut keys Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to copy and paste, respectively. The default format in which the chart gets pasted is the Microsoft Office Graphic Object, which creates a native chart on the PowerPoint slide.

After your chart is pasted, the Paste Options button appears in the lower right side of the chart (see Figure 6.1).

Figure 6.1

Figure 6.1 The Paste Options button allows you to specify certain paste options.

The following options are available after pasting a chart from Excel into PowerPoint:

  • Chart (Linked to Excel Data)—The chart updates when the data is changed in Excel.
  • Excel Chart (Entire Workbook)—The data is copied over to PowerPoint.
  • Paste as Picture—An image of the chart is copied but cannot be changed further.

The following options relate to the presentation's theme and how the chart looks after it is pasted:

  • Keep Source Formatting
  • Use Destination Theme

By default, Chart (linked to Excel data) and Use Destination Theme are selected. In general, you want to leave your chart linked to Excel data in case the data in your Excel spreadsheet changes and you want the chart to update to reflect the changes. If you choose an option other than this, the chart does not change when the data in the cells change.

Inserting an Excel Chart from Within PowerPoint

To insert an Excel chart from scratch in PowerPoint, do the following:

  1. Select the Insert tab.
  2. Select Chart.
  3. Choose a Chart Type (see Figure 6.2).
    Figure 6.2

    Figure 6.2 Insert a Chart from the Ribbon.

  4. Click OK.

Notice that the following happens when you click OK:

  1. Excel launches in a new window.
  2. Both windows are resized to share the whole screen side by side (see Figure 6.3).
    Figure 6.3

    Figure 6.3 PowerPoint and Excel share the screen after inserting a new chart.

  3. Fake sample data is created.
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