Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 September 21, 2016)

8

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, and 2013. 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 for this tip:

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What is 8 - 1?

2016-11-07 10:39:23

hj

It doesnt work


2016-11-03 19:57:38

Sam Thomas

I was struggling with chart. Survey monkey gave charts but that was too much work of copy/paste/edit. With Excel, more troubles. Now this is great.
Thank you very much


2016-09-21 11:01:30

Mike

Don't insert a chart, insert an Object and you won't get a generic chart. The only problem is that even though the chart is started using the table data, it doesn't maintain a link to the table data. You have to edit the chart (by double clicking on it) to update the numbers in the "Datasheet" that appears below the chart when in edit mode.


2016-09-21 09:53:19

Eileen

I also don't see the information in the table translated into a chart. I get the generic chart and have to add the numbers. Any clue why?


2016-07-11 04:47:12

Almabrok

This is going to be my first attempt to make a chart bout of a table. Hope it work...thank you for the advice


2016-03-31 09:22:58

Sheri

I get this. And use it. However, how do you link the chart to your table. If you change the table, it doesn't automatically change the chart. You have to edit the chart in order to get your numbers.


2015-12-30 11:22:06

Lynn Rosenbaum

I followed these instructions but am still getting a generic excel chart, not a graph with the data from my table.


2015-02-27 02:19:10

Sukruta

this tip saved my life!! thanks:)


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