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How-To: Automate Data Refreshes in PPT

Published: December 6, 2016

Author: Kaelee Heuschkel

Do you make many PowerPoint presentations throughout the year that include graphs and charts created in Excel? If you answered yes, keep reading to learn how to save yourself some precious time.
The layout of each slide is very important in order to properly brand your presentation in the mind of your viewers, and it takes time to get the layout just right. Once you get the layout how you like it, there is a really simple way to automate your PowerPoint to refresh data from Excel. It has saved me many hours of copy/paste and resizing/aligning elements on slides.
To start, you need to create an Excel file with your raw data as well as graphs. I recommend arranging the “raw data” section in a way you can easily copy and paste new data in the future. Once you have your Excel file all set up (and saved), open a new PowerPoint presentation and SAVE IT to your computer.
Now for the big reveal:

  • Copy a graph in Excel
  • In PowerPoint, click on the Home Tab – Paste Arrow


  • Select Paste Special
  • Select the Paste Link Option

Now let’s watch the magic in action.
Save both files again.
Close PowerPoint.
Change elements of your raw data and save.
Open PowerPoint and click Update Links when prompted. (Don’t be afraid!)
Your graph is automatically updated to reflect the new data.

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