How to Paste Excel Data into an iBooks Author Chart

iBooks Author lets you create charts based on data, in much the same way that Microsoft Excel and Apple Numbers do. But if you already have an Excel chart holding your data, you don’t need to retype all your information, which can lead to the introduction of errors. Instead, you can simply paste the data into a new chart in iBooks Author.

To create a chart, use the Charts icon menu in the toolbar to choose the desired chart type (there are 19 types). Or you can choose Insert→Chart and then choose the desired chart type from the submenu that appears. iBooks Author creates a chart that uses sample data. It also displays the Chart inspector and the Chart Data Editor panel.

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Rather than enter the data manually, you can paste Excel or Numbers spreadsheet data into a chart by following these steps:

  1. Select the data in Excel or Numbers that you want to paste into iBooks Author.

    You can also paste table data from other applications, such as Word and Pages, but iBooks Author doesn’t recognize axis labels in such data as it does for pasted Excel and Numbers data.

  2. Choose Edit→Copy to copy that data.

    Alternatively, you can press Command+C.

  3. In iBooks Author, select the upper-left cell in the Chart Data Editor panel for the selected chart.

  4. Paste the data by choosing Edit→Paste.

    Or you can press Command+V.

iBooks Author detects the axis labels if you have them in that pasted data, and it adds rows and columns as needed to hold the pasted data.

In the Chart Data Editor panel, you can edit the data that powers your chart. In addition to accessing it from the Chart inspector, you can also choose Format→Chart→Show Data Editor or press Shift+Command+D. Its controls are simple:

  • Double-click a cell to edit its contents. (Cells can contain only numbers — no letters, symbols, or formulas.) Double-click an axis label (the topmost row and the leftmost column that have the gray backgrounds) to edit that label.

  • Click Add Row to add data rows to the chart. Likewise, click Add Column to add data columns to the chart.

  • Click either of the Plot Row vs. Column icon buttons to determine whether the row or column data (each column or row is called a data series) appears in the chart as the visual data. Colored squares appear next to the axis labels (called the legend). The legend’s colored squares also let you know which bars, lines, and so on belong to which data series.

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