IT Training tips: Putting charts in Word documents

Posted in: IT Literacy

A few people have asked me about the best way to put a chart into a Word document.

There are several ways to do this - here are 3 different ways that I use:

1. Copy an existing chart from Excel so it can be tweaked in Word:

Click on the chart in Excel to select it and copy it (I normally use [Ctrl]&[C]). Place the insertion point where you want to place the chart in your document and paste (I normally use [Ctrl]&[V]).

With this option, you can select the chart in Word and change any aspect of it, from the colour of the bars, to the chart type to the data, just as you would with a chart in Excel or PowerPoint. If you resize or reshape the chart, text will remain the same size and everything else will stretch or shrink.

2. Copy an existing chart from Excel so it cannot be tweaked in Word:

Copy the chart as above, but instead of just pasting it into Word, place the insertion point where you want the chart and click on the lower part of the 'Paste' button and select 'Paste Special...'. Select the format you want (I normally go for 'Picture (PNG)') and click on "OK". The benefits with this option include the text increasing or decreasing when you resize the chart and there being no way that any recipient of the document can change the chart in any way or access the data behind it.

3. Create the chart within Word:

Place the insertion point where you want the chart to appear in the Word document and click on ('INSERT' ribbon) 'Chart', select the type of chart you want and click on 'OK'. Type in your headings or labels and data into the data table and then click on the cross to close it.

If you want to change it, just click in the chart and click on 'Edit Data' or any of the other buttons on the Chart Tools 'DESIGN' or 'FORMAT' ribbons.

One extra bit of information: I've written some crib sheets and put them into the 'Self-Service Training Resources for Office 2013' area of the University's Moodle site. Current subjects are:

  • Conditional formatting in Excel
  • COUNTIF, SUMIF and AVERAGEIF functions in Excel
  • Creating drop-down lists in Excel
  • Mail merging an Excel file into Outlook emails

If you have a look at them and find them useful, please leave a comment below. Also let me know if you'd like a similar sheet written for another task.

All the best

John Baker (IT Trainer)

Posted in: IT Literacy


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