Chapter 14. Working with Charts


  • Understanding charts

  • Starting a new chart

  • Working with chart data

  • Chart types and chart layout presets

  • Working with labels

  • Controlling the axes

  • Formatting a chart

  • Working with chart templates

Many times when you include a chart in PowerPoint, this chart already exists in some other application. For example, you might have an Excel workbook that contains some charts that you want to use in PowerPoint. If this is the case, you can simply copy and paste them into PowerPoint, or link or embed them, as you will learn in Chapter 15.

However, when you need to create a quick chart that has no external source, PowerPoint's charting tool is perfect for this purpose. The PowerPoint 2010 charting interface is based upon the one in Excel, and so you don't have to leave PowerPoint to create, modify, and format professional-looking charts.


What's the difference between a chart and a graph? Some purists will tell you that a chart is either a table or a pie chart, whereas a graph is a chart that plots data points on two axes, such as a bar chart. However, Microsoft does not make this distinction, and neither do I in this book. I use the term "chart" in this book for either kind.

Understanding Charts

PowerPoint 2010's charting feature is based upon the same Escher 2.0 graphics engine as is used for drawn objects. Consequently, most of what you have learned about formatting objects in earlier chapters (especially Chapter 10) also applies to charts. For example, ...

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