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8.6: Utilizing Tables and Charts

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    The organization of a PowerPoint presentation necessitates that the presentation be concise and meaningful. Tables and charts represent an opportunity to present a lot of data in an organized, structured graphic. Tables can be created and inserted into a slide in a similar process as Word tables. Tables can be inserted from the Insert tab, or by clicking the Table icon Table icon from a Content layout placeholder. Two contextual tabs are available for formatting the table, similar to Word. Adding table styles that match the theme of the presentation is desirable. Creating tables through this process is ideal for tables full of text, such as the table in the illustration below. Tables can also be created in Word, and then copy and pasted into PowerPoint. Either way, tables are a great way to consolidate a lot of information into a single slide.

    Table Slide
    Table Slide

    If the table contains a lot numerical data, it might make more sense to create the table in Excel, and paste it into PowerPoint. Data can be edited in PowerPoint using Excel formatting tools. Data can even be linked so that when the Excel file is updated, the PowerPoint slide is also updated. If the data is not linked, it is considered to be an embedded object. Embedded objects become part of the PowerPoint file and, after they are inserted, they are no longer part of the source (Excel) file.

    Charts are used to illustrate numerical data, which can help the audience visualize patterns, relationships, or trends in data. The decisions about linking or embedding a table are very similar to the decisions regarding inserting charts. Charts can be created in PowerPoint or Excel, but most are typically already created in Excel and simply need to be pasted into PowerPoint. Then comes the decision about embedding or linking the chart. When a chart is selected on a slide, options on the Chart Tools Design and Format contextual tabs can be used to modify the look of the chart.

    This page titled 8.6: Utilizing Tables and Charts is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Marcus Lacher (Minnesota Libraries Publishing Project) via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.