Excel-Powerpoint Linking-Embedding Charts-Tables
August 8, 2016 10:12 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to create charts in Excel and then copy them into Powerpoint. If I initially paste the charts with linked data, can I subsequently embed that data for sharing with others? Are there other convenient ways of sharing a Powerpoint file together with a linked Excel file? More tiny/related questions and details within.

There are a few stages to this:

-I'm exporting data tables from an SPSS-like software into Excel.

-I'm creating charts with those tables in Excel.

-I'm pasting these charts into Powerpoint (currently as linked charts) to create client presentations.

-I'm sharing these presentations initially with my team, (for which I really want the linked Excel data to function).

-I'm sharing these charts with clients, where it is not as crucial for the Excel link to function.

Reason why I'm initially linking the Excel charts is convenience: By doing it this way, it is possible to store all the data in multiple worksheets in a single workbook. It is also possible to update those Excel tables from the initial SPSS-like software, which would auto-update charts from the original source.

This all works really beautifully for me as long as no one else is involved. But sending the Powerpoint is already creating issues where my teammates can't access the data. For end clients, though the original link doesn't need to work, it would be nice if they could access the data underlying the chart, as would be the case if I pasted the chart with embedded (rather than linked data).

My primary questions are a) Is it possible to paste a chart and link data, and then subsequently embed that chart in a workbook? and b) Is there a way to export the Powerpoint file in a package that includes the Excel workbook? If the answer to b) is no, then is there a relatively easy way to update the Excel links to a chart in a Powerpoint document?

Some other things to note:
-This is being done in Office 365 2016.
-My team has just started to use SharePoint, and so this might be a convenient way of sharing things internally, though it might create difficulties with external clients.
-I am not averse to some VBA scripting, though I've had more success with it in Excel than Powerpoint.
-Any and all resources pertaining to this, and to managing this sort of thing with SharePoint, would be welcome. I've been having a really hard time finding any info for this.
posted by taltalim to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
If I'm understanding your situation correctly, you need to start from PowerPoint.

On a Title and Content slide, click the chart icon in the content area. Choose your chart style. Then Excel is automatically opened, where you can add your data. Close Excel and the Excel file is automatically embedded within the PowerPoint file, and will travel with it. IOW, it won't link to it, it embeds it.

Are you importing the data into Excel from a file, or is the SPSS-like software creating a file in Excel format? If it's the former, then your workflow is: PowerPoint -> create chart, which opens Excel -> import data from external source -> do whatever data-twiddling you need to do -> close Excel -> and you're back in PP.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 11:55 AM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, SuperSquirrel. The SPSS-like software is exporting directly to Excel - I think the presence of a stand-alone external Excel file is important to this. It's also really helpful to be able to store the data for each individual chart within the same workbook - in some cases, multiple charts come from the same sheet, and in other cases, they come from different sheets, but it's handy to keep it all together.
posted by taltalim at 12:05 PM on August 8, 2016

I encounter the same situation as you frequently in my work. The following should work for for your needs as I understand them.

When pasting, paste the Excel chart into PowerPoint as a linked Microsoft Excel Chart Object (Paste Special -> Paste Link -> Microsoft Excel Chart Object). When you need to remove the link so you can distribute to a client, go to File -> Edit Links to Files -> Break Link (for each linked object). This will convert the charts to images embedded in your PowerPoint.
posted by noneuclidean at 12:15 PM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: noneuclidean - thank you so much for pointing out Edit Links to Files. Your solution is not exactly what I was looking for, but that menu option is a definite step in the right direction, and I hadn't known of its existence.
posted by taltalim at 1:23 PM on August 8, 2016

I see now that my solution doesn't fit what you're asking. Guess I was too quick to reply. My best thought for packaging up a PowerPoint and Excel file is to embed a macro in your PP that will repoint all links to a copy of the excel file in the same folder as the PP file. Then you could send both the PP and source Excel files to the client, tell them to save both in the same folder, open both and run the VBA and Then they should have properly linked PP and Excel files. It would be nice if PP was just able to use relative links, but I think they removed that a couple versions ago which necessitates manually updating links or running VBA. I could probably dig up some of my code and MeMail it to you if you think this method would be useful.
posted by noneuclidean at 6:24 PM on August 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: noneuclidean - that sounds like an excellent solution, and I'd be really grateful if you're willing to send that over.
posted by taltalim at 7:35 PM on August 8, 2016

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