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This chapter is from the book

Converting to Office 2007 Format

Let's take a look at what happens when you insert a legacy chart object and then double-click to activate it in PowerPoint 2007.

To insert a legacy chart, do the following:

  1. Select the Insert tab.
  2. Click on Object.
  3. Select either Microsoft Graph Chart or Microsoft Office Excel Chart.
  4. Now de-select the object you inserted by clicking somewhere else on the slide, and then select the chart again.

Each time you click on a legacy chart, you are prompted with the question, "Do you want to convert this chart to the new format?" (Figure 6.15 illustrates this.)

Figure 6.15

Figure 6.15 Decide whether you would like to convert your legacy chart OLE object into a native 2007 chart.

The decision here depends on whether you want to be able to fully use your chart with all the power of PowerPoint 2007, which is described in this chapter. The drawback to converting is that users of previous versions of PowerPoint are no longer be able to edit your chart.

OLE Facts

It's important to note a couple of random OLE facts here because somewhere down the line, you might have an OLE object in your presentation (such as a legacy chart) and might notice one or two quirks when working with them.

Why Can't I Undo Inside My OLE?

While you're going along knocking out charts left and right, you might notice that something strange occurs when you try to undo an operation (Ctrl+Z) while the OLE object is activated. With a chart in edit mode or with any activated OLE object, if you try to undo many times, it's ineffective and probably only undoes the last thing you've done.

Although this might be a nuisance to those of us who make more mistakes than a first grader writing a book report, there is a simple, yet tedious workaround. When you make any set of changes while in an activated OLE object, double-click elsewhere to deactivate the chart. To you, nothing looks different, but internally PowerPoint logs it as an event it knows about. Now when you undo in deactivated mode, that event is undone as one operation.

To summarize: Enter edit mode, make your change, exit edit mode to let PowerPoint know what happened, and then you are able to undo in PowerPoint as much as you want.

This oddness exists because, technically, chart editing is happening inside a different program and not in PowerPoint. So, when you're making each individual chart edit, PowerPoint has no idea what's happening and can't save these operations for undo. By quickly exiting from editing the chart back to PowerPoint, PowerPoint gets control back and can save everything that's happened so far.


The format that your files are saved to in PowerPoint 2003 and earlier is binary, meaning that it's a bunch of 1s and 0s. This lends itself well to corruption of data because if just one of those 1s or 0s is flipped, your whole document could be ruined.

By adding an OLE object (such as the entire chart) inside your presentation, PowerPoint is adding a ton of new data in binary format that's a prime target for corruption. OLE data is fully editable, but because of that, it's complicated. Sometimes PowerPoint screws up, and you can lose your chart entirely.

For this reason, you will often find that a common paradigm to follow is to first use and edit your charts and OLE objects as OLE objects. When you're done editing and have finalized it, copy the chart and paste it as an image back into the desired spot. To do this, select the chart and copy (choose Home tab, and on the Clipboard group select Copy, or simply press Ctrl+V). Then, click on the Paste drop-down, select Paste Special (or press Ctrl+Alt+V), and select one of the picture formats, such as Picture (PNG).

After you've done this, the pasted chart image can't be edited, but the data there is much simpler and potentially smaller.

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