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Edit Chart Data in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac

Learn how to edit chart data in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac. This data is typically stored in an embedded Excel sheet.

When you insert a chart in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac, you might notice that Excel pops up with some dummy data for your chart. You then change the data within the Excel sheet to auto-update the chart within PowerPoint. However, this Excel instance that stores your data has no separate existence, and there's no separate Excel sheet that contains your data. In fact, this Excel sheet is stored within your PowerPoint presentation itself.

Do I Need Excel to add a Chart in PowerPoint?

In PowerPoint 2011, to create or edit a chart you must also have Excel 2011 installed.

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 in PowerPoint 2011 for Mac:

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

  2. Figure 1: Chart selected on the slide
  3. With the chart still selected, select the Charts tab of the Ribbon and click the Edit button, highlighted in red within Figure 2, below.

  4. Figure 2: Edit button
  5. Note: The Chart Layout and Format tabs are contextual tabs. These tabs are special tabs in the Ribbon that are not visible all the time. They only make an appearance when you are working with a particular slide object which can be edited using special options.


  6. Alternatively, right-click (or Ctrl+click) the selected chart, and then choose the Edit Data option to open the Excel sheet.
  7. Either of these options will open the Excel sheet containing the chart data, as shown in Figure 3, below.

  8. Figure 3: Excel sheet containing chart data
  9. Here, you can change Category and Series names and also change the values they represent. To do so, select the particular cell in the Excel sheet, and overtype (replace) the new value (or name) as required. Figure 4 shows all values of the sample chart changed except the names (compare Figures 3 and 4).

  10. Figure 4: Chart data changed
  11. When you are done editing names and values within the Excel sheet, go ahead and close Excel. The changes made will automatically reflect within the chart on your PowerPoint slide.
  12. Save your presentation.

See Also:

Chart Data: Edit Chart Data (Glossary Page)

Edit Chart Data in PowerPoint 2016 for Windows
Edit Chart Data in PowerPoint 2013 for Windows