Software

Copy an Excel chart into a presentation (without dragging the workbook with it)

When you copy an Excel chart into a presentation, PowerPoint pastes the entire workbook along with it -- which has a couple of disadvantages. Here's a trick that lets you paste just the chart onto a slide.
If you paste an Excel chart onto a slide, PowerPoint will paste both the chart and the entire Excel workbook, which is definitely a problem because:
  • It's a breach of security. Anyone viewing the presentation can simply double-click the chart to gain access to the entire workbook. If the file's not protected, they could do a lot of damage by changing or deleting data.
  • It will drastically increase the size of the presentation, which might slow things down or render distribution difficult or nearly impossible.
To avoid copying the entire workbook into a PowerPoint presentation when pasting a single chart, choose a more appropriate pasting option as follows:

  1. In Excel, select the chart and press [Ctrl]+C to copy the chart to the Clipboard.
  2. In PowerPoint, select the slide where you want to paste the chart.
  3. Choose Paste Special from the Edit menu.
  4. In the resulting Paste Special dialog box, select Picture.
  5. Click OK.

When using the Picture option, PowerPoint will paste the chart as an image. The chart maintains its accuracy and the Excel workbook is secure. However, there's a big trade-off: The data in the PowerPoint picture object (your Excel chart) won't be dynamic. If you change data in the Excel worksheet that updates the chart, you must re-paste the updated chart into your presentation if you want the latest data.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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