Embedding an Excel Chart into a Word Document

Seeing Excel Edits immediately in Word

An Excel chart can be inserted into a Word document. In addition, any edits done to the Excel Spreadsheet can automatically appear in the Chart in Word.  Who knew! The beauty of this is any changes made in Excel will be in sync in the Word document it was copied into. This insures information will be accurate across the board.

Copying an Excel Chart

Here’s the scenario.

You’ve already created your chart in an Excel Spreadsheet

Original Chart In Excel

Original Chart In Excel

To set up the chart so it will also appear in a Word Document, you’ll need to do a Copy and Paste Special

This is where it may get a little tricky. To make a copy of your chart, first you need to hover the pointer over the chart.  Notice that depending where your pointer is, sometimes a different pop-up appears, as indicated in the below screenshot.

Example of Pop-Ups in an Excel Chart

Example of Pop-Ups in an Excel Chart

Since you want to copy the entire chart, you’ll need to hover your pointer until the Chart Area Pop-Up appears.

Once it does then do a right-click.

A Quick Menu appears with a whole bunch of options to choose from.  You want to select Copy

Quick Menu appearing over Excel Chart

Quick Menu appearing over Excel Chart

Pasting a Link into a Word Document

Now, go to your Word document.  Click into the area you want to place your copied chart.

Word's Paste Links Functions

Word’s Paste Links Functions

From the Home Ribbon, click on the down arrow under the Paste Function.  Several Icons will appear offering different paste options.  The two that apply to your needs are highlighted here:

  • Destination Theme
  • Source Formatting

Both will maintain any changes made in the original Excel file.  It’s just that you have a choice to use Word’s Theme (a fancy name for formatting) or continue using Excel’s formatting (aka Source Formatting).

Depending on what Paste Option the pointer hovers over, a preview of the chart will display in your Word document.  Here let’s choose “Keep Source Formatting” to continue using the same Excel formatting.  The Chart now is officially pasted into the Word document.

Excel Chart pasted as a Link into Word

Excel Chart pasted as a Link into Word

Seeing Excel Edits in a Word Document

Let’s see how the Word Chart will automatically update when editing Excel data.

Within the Excel spreadsheet, the months ‘May, June & July” change to “August, September, October”.  While still in Excel, notice the chart automatically displays the recent edits.

Different Months in Excel Spreadsheet

Different Months in Excel Spreadsheet

Now, when viewing the same Chart in Word, the same edits are also appear.

Copied Excel Chart in Word

Copied Excel Chart in Word

This is the beauty of using the Paste Special option.


About the Author

Cheryl Cuddeback

After 20 years of working in various law firms as a Help Desk Analyst, Systems Instructor and Computer Training Consultant Cheryl has become the go-to gal. Her goal is to empower the computer user by removing anxiety and translating techy talk into understandable every day vocabulary. Her strengths are in Microsoft Excel, Word and PowerPoint. For more tips and guides check out her website LegalTransitions or follow her on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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