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Instead of showing your audience columns and rows of numbers, use a chart to illustrate your data graphically. PowerPoint offers a wide variety of chart types—line, column, area, and pie are a few examples.

When you create charts in PowerPoint, you actually use the Microsoft Graph program, included with Office.

To create a chart:

  1. Click the New Slide button on the toolbar, or choose Insert > New Slide (Ctrl+M).

  2. From the Slide Layout task pane, select the Title and Content layout (Figure 2.10).

  3. Figure 2.10Figure 2.10 In the Content area of the Slide Layout task pane, locate a slide with a title and content.

  4. Click the title placeholder and type the title of your chart (Figure 2.11).

  5. Figure 2.11Figure 2.11 Add a title to your slide.

  6. Click the small bar chart in the Content box (Figure 2.12).

  7. Figure 2.12Figure 2.12 Click the little image of the bar chart in the Content box.

  8. You can now enter your data into the Microsoft Graph datasheet. As you do, watch the chart change interactively (Figure 2.13).

  9. Figure 2.13Figure 2.13 A new slide with a sample bar chart appears, as well as a datasheet with sample data. Enter your chart data in the datasheet.

    Note that you have to delete the sample data in the datasheet and replace it with new data in order to see the chart change.

  10. To close the datasheet and view the chart, click the "x" in the datasheet window, or just click outside the chart on the slide.

  11. Your chart with new data is now in the slide's content placeholder (Figure 2.14).

    Figure 2.41Figure 2.14 When you have revised the datasheet and title, you have a new slide with a chart like this one.


Chart remembers if the datasheet was visible from your last editing session, and if it was, it redisplays the datasheet. If not, click the View Datasheet button.

Sometimes double-clicking a selected object doesn't work because you are still in Microsoft Graph. Just press the Esc key and reselect or try again.

If you erase over existing data, make sure to delete columns that were used in the sample data but not in your chart. Otherwise, Chart might consider that column part of the chart. To delete a column, place your cursor in a cell in that column, right-click, choose Delete, and choose Entire Column.

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