Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Converting Tables to Charts.

Converting Tables to Charts

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 18, 2020)

1

It is not unusual to present data in both tabular and graphic forms in a report. Word makes it easy to do this. Once you have developed your table, you can convert the information directly into a graph. You do this in the following manner:

  1. Select the table you want converted to a chart.
  2. Make sure the Insert tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. Click the Object tool within the Text group. Word displays the Object dialog box.
  4. From the list of Object Types, choose Microsoft Graph Chart.
  5. Click on OK. Word displays a graphic representation of your tabular data.
  6. Format your graph as desired.
  7. Click anywhere outside of the newly inserted graph to continue working in your document.

As you were following these steps, you may have noticed that there is a Chart tool in the Illustrations group on the Insert tab of the ribbon. You may have then wondered why you wouldn't use this tool to create a chart.

The reason is simple: If you select the Chart tool, you end up with a generic chart created using Excel and inserted directly in your document. (You also end up with this type of chart if you choose Microsoft Excel Chart in step 4.) Word does not base the chart upon the selected table data (you selected it in step 1), but instead inserts the chart into the first cell of the selected table, thereby deleting anything that was in that cell.

For simple charting tasks it is better to avoid using the Chart tool and insert a Microsoft Graph Chart object, as outlined in these steps.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (7791) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Converting Tables to Charts.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is one more than 3?

2020-04-18 18:49:00

Michael Kelly

Hi Allen,
I liked finding out about this tool--after all these years!
And it did make a graph, but it was a huge 3d graph. All the formatting controls were unresponsive, and dragging the corner didn't help.

Any suggestions?

Thanks, as always, for your Word tips.

Michael


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