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Adding an Excel Chart to a Word 2007 Document

By Doug Lowe

When you insert a chart in Word, Excel is automatically started, and the data that you chart is placed in an Excel workbook. However, that Excel workbook isn?t stored as a separate document. Instead, the chart and the datasheet workbook are stored within the Word document. The following procedure shows how to insert a chart on a Microsoft Word 2007 page.

1. Move the insertion point to the spot where you want the chart to appear.

2. Click the Insert tab and then click the Chart button in the Illustrations group.

The Create Chart dialog box is summoned.

3. Select the type of chart you want to create.

You can select any of the following chart types:

Column: Data is displayed as vertical columns. The columns can be displayed side by side or stacked, and you can pick various shapes for the columns, including simple bars, 3-D blocks, cylinders, cones, and pyramids.

Line: The data is shown as individual points linked by various types of lines.

Pie: The data is displayed as slices in a circular pie.

Bar: The same as a column chart, except the columns are laid out horizontally instead of vertically.

Area: Similar to a line chart, except that the areas beneath the lines are shaded in.

X Y (Scatter): Plots individual points using two values to represent the X, Y coordinates.

Stock: Plots high/low/close values.

Surface: Similar to a line chart but represents the data as a three-dimensional surface.

Doughnut: Similar to a pie chart, but with a hole in the middle.

Bubble: Similar to a scatter chart, but uses a third value to determine the size of the bubble.

Radar: Plots data relative to a central point rather than X- and Y-axes.

4. Click OK.

Word whirs and grinds for a moment and then inserts the chart into the page. The reason for all the commotion is that in order to insert the chart, Word must find out whether Excel is already running. If not, Word launches Excel and rearranges your screen so that Word and Excel are displayed side by side.

If Excel happens to be running already when you insert the chart, it won’t be tiled alongside Word. Instead, it will remain where it is — most likely maximized in its own full-screen window. You can press the Alt+Tab key combination to switch back and forth between Word and Excel.

5. Change the sample data to something more realistic.

The data for the chart is shown in Excel, tiled alongside Word. You need to change this worksheet to provide the data you want to chart. Notice that the chart itself changes to reflect the new data as soon as you return to Word (by clicking anywhere in the Word window).

6. Customize the chart any way you want.

Pasting a chart from Excel

If the data you want to chart already exists in an Excel workbook, the easiest way to chart it in Word is to first create the chart in Excel. Then copy the chart to the clipboard, switch over to Word, and paste the chart to the appropriate page. When you do so, the chart appears in Word exactly as it did in Excel.

When you paste an Excel chart into Word, a special smart tag icon appears next to the chart. You can click this smart tag to reveal a menu with the following choices:

  • Paste as Picture: Converts the chart to a collection of Word shape objects, with no linkage to the original Excel chart or data.
  • Excel Chart: This option creates a copy of the Excel data and stores it as a workbook object within your Word file. This effectively severs the chart in the Word document from the original workbook, so any changes you make to the data in the original workbook are not reflected in the Word chart (and vice versa).
  • Link to Excel Chart: This option copies the chart into the Word document but creates a link to the data in the original Excel workbook. Any changes you make to the data in the original Excel workbook are reflected in the chart (and vice versa).
  • Keep Source Formatting: This option keeps all of the formatting you applied in the original Excel chart. Thus, the Word chart looks exactly like the Excel chart.
  • Use Destination Theme: This option reformats the chart according to the Document Theme used in the Word document. You get a chart that is formatted consistently with the rest of your document.

Changing the chart type

Word enables you to create 14 basic types of charts. Each type conveys information with a different emphasis. Sales data plotted in a column chart might emphasize the relative performance of different regions, for example, and the same data plotted as a line chart might emphasize an increase or decrease in sales over time. The type of chart that’s best for your data depends on the nature of the data and which aspects of it that you want to emphasize.

Fortunately, Word doesn’t force you to decide the final chart type up front. You can easily change the chart type at any time without changing the chart data. These steps show you how:

1. Click the chart to select it.

The Chart Tools Design tab appears on the Ribbon.

2. Click the Change Chart Type button in the Type group.

Word displays a gallery of chart types.

3. Click the chart type that you want.

4. Click OK, and you’re done.