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Adding and Deleting Chart Series and Categories in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to add and delete chart series and categories in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. You can add the new series or category at the end, or in between existing series and categories.


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Product/Version: PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

OS: Mac OS X



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Any new chart that you add within PowerPoint 2011 for Mac has its roots in Excel, and all data for the chart is also stored within an Excel sheet. Editing chart data within Excel involves a little more than just changing values. There may be times when you want to add a new Series or Category. In chart terminology, Series are represented by individual columns within your Excel sheet, and these show up as the columns within a typical column chart. Categories on the other hand are essentially a set of series. In the sample chart shown later on this page within Figure 1, the Series are Grapes, Apples, Bananas, etc., and the Categories are the years 2009 through 2012.

Chart showing default status of Gridlines
Figure 1: Chart selected on the slide

We will continue exploring our sample chart, as shown in Figure 1, above. Let's say we want to add a whole new series for Currants. So, let's now learn how we can add and delete Series and Categories:

  1. Open your presentation. Navigate to the slide containing the chart to be edited and select the chart as shown in Figure 1.
  2. Right-click (or Ctrl+click) the selected chart. From the contextual menu, choose the Edit Data option to open the Excel sheet containing chart data, as shown in Figure 2, below.
  3. Excel sheet containing chart data
    Figure 2: Excel sheet containing chart data
  4. Alternatively, click the Edit button within the Charts tab of the Ribbon.

Now, follow these guidelines to add or delete Series or Categories, as required:

Add New Series or Category in the End

Follow these steps to add a new Series or Category in the end:

  1. Place your cursor on the lower-right corner of the data table so that it turns into a pointer, as shown highlighted in red within Figure 3.
  2. Cursor changed
    Figure 3: Cursor changed
  3. Now click and drag this pointer (highlighted in red within Figure 3, above) rightwards as shown in Figure 4.
  4. Drag the pointer rightwards to add a new Series
    Figure 4:Drag the pointer rightwards to add a new Series
  5. Type in the values you need, as you can see in Figure 5, below. We included the name of the Fruit in the Heading row and then entered some values below.
  6. New Series added and edited
    Figure 5: New Series added and edited
  7. While keeping your Excel sheet open, navigate to your PowerPoint slide (use the +Tab keyboard shortcut to navigate between open applications). You'll see that a new Series has been added to your chart, as shown in Figure 6, below (compare with the chart in Figure 1, shown earlier on this page).
  8. Chart reflecting the changes after added with new Series
    Figure 6: Chart reflecting the changes after added with new Series
  9. Similarly, to add a new Category in the end, bring up the corner pointer (highlighted in red within Figure 3, shown earlier on this page) and click and drag it downwards as shown in Figure 7, below.
  10. Drag the pointer downwards to add a new Category
    Figure 7: Drag the pointer downwards to add a new Category
  11. Type in the values you need, as you can see in Figure 8, below. We typed the year 2013 in the Heading column and then entered some values below.
  12. New Category added and edited
    Figure 8: New Category added and edited
  13. While keeping your Excel sheet open, navigate to your PowerPoint slide (use the +Tab keyboard shortcut to navigate between open applications). You'll see that a new Series has been added to your chart, as shown in Figure 9, below (compare with the charts in Figures 1 and 9).
  14. Chart reflecting the changes after added with new Category
    Figure 9: Chart reflecting the changes after added with new Category

Add New Series or Category in Between

Follow these steps to add a new Series or Category in between:

  1. To add a new Series somewhere in between, select the column representing the subsequent Series, and right-click (or Ctrl+click) the Column Header. From the resultant contextual menu that appears, select the Insert option as shown in Figure 10. Thereafter, just add new data as explained in the preceding section.
  2. Insert a new Series in between
    Figure 10: Insert a new Series in between
  3. Similarly, to add a new Category somewhere in between, select the row representing the subsequent Category, and right-click (or Ctrl+click) the Row Header. From the resultant contextual menu that appears, select the Insert option as shown in Figure 11. Thereafter just add new data as explained in the preceding section.
  4. Insert a new Category in between
    Figure 11: Insert a new Category in between
  5. New Series or Categories will be added to your chart. Navigate to your PowerPoint slide (use the +Tab keyboard shortcut to navigate between open applications) to see the newly added Series or Categories.

Delete Series and Category

Follow these steps to delete a Series or Category:

  1. To delete a particular Series, select the corresponding Column and right-click or Ctrl+click) the Column Header. From the resultant contextual menu, select the Delete option as shown in Figure 12.
  2. Delete a Series
    Figure 12: Delete a Series
  3. Tip: You can also delete a Series within PowerPoint, just click once (don't double-click) on the Series to be deleted within the chart, and press the Delete ⌦ key on your keyboard.
  4. To delete a particular Category, select the corresponding Row and right-click (or Ctrl+click) the Row Header. From the resultant contextual menu, select the Delete option as shown in Figure 13.
  5. Delete a Category
    Figure 13: Delete a Category

When you are done with editing chart data within the Excel sheet, go ahead and close Excel. The changes will automatically reflect within the chart on your PowerPoint slide. Save your presentation often!

Tip: You don't always have to delete Series or Categories. Sometimes you can just hide them so that the data is still available, just in case you want to retrieve them again at a later date. Learn more in our Hiding Series and Categories within Power Point 2011 for Mac tutorial.

See Also:

Chart Data: Adding and Deleting Chart Series and Categories (Glossary Page)

Adding and Deleting Chart Series and Categories in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows

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