Create a Line Chart on a PowerPoint 2010 Slide

01
of 01

Using Line Charts for Data on PowerPoint Slides

Create a line chart on a PowerPoint slide
Create a line chart on a PowerPoint slide. © Wendy Russell

Important Note - In order to insert a line chart onto a PowerPoint slide, you must have installed Excel 2010 in addition to PowerPoint 2010, (unless the chart is pasted from another source).

Additional Reference Article - This same article as a Step-by-step walkthrough with screen captures.

Create a Line Chart with the "Title and Content" Slide Layout

  • Choose the Appropriate Slide Layout for the Line Chart
    1. Add a new slide, using the Title and Content slide layout.
    2. Click on the Insert Chart icon (shown as the middle icon on the top row of the group of six icons shown in the body of the slide layout).
      Note - Alternatively, you may navigate to the appropriate blank slide in your presentation and choose Insert > Chart from the ribbon.
  • Choosing a Line Chart Style
    1. From the variety of line chart styles shown in the Insert Chart dialog box, click on the selection of your choice.
    2. Click OK when you have made your selection

    Note - Any choices you make with regard to line chart styles and colors can be changed at any later time.

  • The Generic Line Chart and Data
    When you create a line chart on a PowerPoint slide, the screen is then split into two windows featuring both PowerPoint and Excel.
    • PowerPoint 2010 window contains a generic line chart.
    • Excel 2010 window contains the generic data that is used to create the generic line chart in the PowerPoint window. This data will be replaced by your own data in the next step.

    Note - If for some reason the Excel window does not appear as indicated above, click on the Edit Data button, on the Chart Tools ribbon, directly above the PowerPoint window.

Edit the Line Chart Data

  • Add Your Specific Data
    Line charts can display multiple types of data.
    1. Click on the Excel 2010 window to make it the active window. Notice the blue rectangle that surrounds the chart data. These are the cells that are used to create the line chart.
    2. Edit the first column heading (cell B1) and change the text to reflect your own data. In the example shown, this column heading has been changed to Sedan. Repeat to edit the other column headings.
    3. Edit the row headings in the generic data to reflect your own information. In the example shown, these row headings have been changed to 2008, 2009, 2010 to reflect car sales for those models.
    4. Replace the generic data with your own numerical data.
  • Add More Columns or Rows in the Spreadsheet
    If the generic chart data does not have enough columns and/or rows, you can easily add additional ones to accommodate your own data.
    Method 1
    1. Type a new heading in the next available column/row.
    2. Press the Enter key to enter the data. Notice that the blue rectangle will expand to incorporate this new column/row.
    3. Add the appropriate data for this new entry.
    4. Repeat this process for each new column/row you need.
    Method 2
    1. Drag the bottom right corner handle on the blue rectangle to enlarge the selection of data to include as many extra columns/rows as you need. Notice that the blue rectangle will expand to incorporate these new columns/rows.
    2. Type headings in the new available columns/rows.
    3. Add the appropriate data for the new column/row heading(s).
  • Delete Columns/Rows from the Generic Data
    1. Drag the bottom right corner handle on the blue rectangle to reduce the selection of data cells.
    2. Notice that the blue rectangle will become smaller to incorporate these changes.
    3. Delete any information in the cells outside the blue rectangle that is not wanted for this line chart.
  • Updated Line Chart Reflects New Data
    Once you change the generic data to your current data, the information is immediately reflected in the line chart.

    Add a title for your slide into the text placeholder at the top of the slide.

Additional Reference Article - This same article as a Step-by-step walkthrough with screen captures.

See also - Excel Charts in PowerPoint