Link Excel to PowerPoint (or Word)

A common requirement in the business world is to link parts of an Excel file into PowerPoint (or Word) in such a way that when the Excel file is updated, the PowerPoint (or Word) document is also updated. Below the method to link Excel to PowerPoint. you can follow the same steps in Word

First steps in linking link Excel to PowerPoint

First work on the Excel spreadsheet and get it correct. As shown below we have created a mini dashboard within the Excel file using pivot tables and pivot charts (but they can be plain cells and charts as well).


Paste Special is an option in PowerPoint and Word

Now highlight one of the tables. In this case we will highlight cell A1 to B7 and copy it. Go into you PowerPoint presentation and click PASTE SPECIAL as shown below.


The following will appear. Very important, click on the Paste Link option and then choose the Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object and click OK.


You will see that the table now appears in your slide as shown below. Most important though, when you right click on the ‘picture’ you will notice that one of the options is now to UPDATE LINKS. This tells you that this image and the cells in the Excel file are now linked. If you change something in Excel, and refresh it in PowerPoint it will update on the slide.


The great thing is that you can do this with charts as well. If you follow the same process, you can

  • Click on the chart in Excel
  • Copy it
  • Go to the relevant PowerPoint slide
  • Click on Paste Special
  • Click on the Paste link option
  • Choose Microsoft Excel Chart Object
  • Click OK

As shown below you can export the entire dashboard into PowerPoint but make sure it stays linked to the Excel file (see below if you right click on the chart it also has the Update Link option).

This works great for a few links but we don’t recommend you have hundreds of links like this. PowerPoint does not seem to like so many links.

Impact of font type in Excel numbers copied to Word or PowerPoint

Link charts from Excel to Word

Excel Course for Dashboards and Management Reports

Impact of font type in Excel numbers copied to Word or PowerPoint