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Edit Chart Data in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows

Learn how to edit chart data in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows.


Author:

Product/Version: Microsoft PowerPoint 2016

OS: Microsoft Windows 7 and higher






When you insert a new chart in PowerPoint, you might notice that an instance of the Excel sheet containing some dummy data for your chart pops up within PowerPoint. You then change the data within that instance of the Excel sheet to auto-update the chart on your slide. However, this Excel instance that stores your data has no separate existence. There's no separate Excel sheet that contains your data. In fact, this Excel sheet is stored within your PowerPoint presentation itself.

Note: To create and edit charts in PowerPoint 2016, you must also have Excel 2016 installed on the same system.

Well, what do you do if you want to edit the chart data after a week, a month, or even a year after you created that chart? Simple, you just summon the instance of the Excel sheet containing the chart data again and make the required changes. Follow these steps to learn more:

  1. Select the chart on your slide. For this tutorial we have used (and selected) a Column chart as shown in Figure 1.

    Chart selected on the slide
    Figure 1: Chart selected on the slide
  2. With the chart still selected, select the Chart Tools Design contextual tab (highlighted in green within Figure 2) of the Ribbon and click the lower half of the Edit Data button (highlighted in red within Figure 2).

    Edit Data button
    Figure 2: Edit Data button
  3. This will open the Edit Data drop-down menu containing two options, as shown in Figure 3.

    Edit Data drop-down menu
    Figure 3: Edit Data drop-down menu

    Edit Data: Selecting this option will open an instance of the Excel sheet containing the chart data within PowerPoint as shown in Figure 4.

    Instance of the Excel sheet containing the chart data opened within PowerPoint
    Figure 4: Instance of the Excel sheet containing the chart data opened within PowerPoint

    You can also achieve the same result by either clicking the upper half of the Edit Data button (highlighted in blue within Figure 2, shown earlier on this page), or by right-clicking the chart and then selecting the Edit Data option within the resultant contextual menu.

    Edit Data in Excel: Selecting this option will launch Excel 2016 with a new sheet containing the chart data, as shown in Figure 5.

    Excel sheet containing chart data
    Figure 5: Excel sheet containing chart data
  4. Select either the Edit Data or the Edit Data in Excel options, and within the resultant Excel sheet, you can change the Category and/or Series names and also the values they represent. To do that, select the particular cell in the Excel sheet, and enter (type) the new value (or name) as required. Figure 6 shows all values of the sample chart changed except the names. Compare Figures 4 and 6.

    Chart data changed
    Figure 6: Chart data changed

    Tip: Within the smaller Excel window, you can click the icon representing Excel (highlighted in red within Figure 6, above) to launch the complete Excel interface, as shown in Figure 5, earlier on this page.
  5. When you are done editing names and values within the Excel sheet, go ahead and close the instance of the Excel sheet (or Excel itself). The changes will automatically reflect within the chart on your PowerPoint slide.

  6. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Edit Chart Data in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows
Edit Chart Data in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences:
PowerPoint 2016, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2007 and 2003 for Windows
PowerPoint 2016 and 2011 for Mac
PowerPoint Online for Windows and Mac

Have your ever used keyboard shortcuts and sequences in PowerPoint? Or are you a complete keyboard aficionado? Do you want to learn about some new shortcuts? Or do you want to know if your favorite keyboard shortcuts are documented?

Go and get a copy of our PowerPoint Keyboard Shortcuts and Sequences ebook.



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