How to Prepare Data for Bar Graphs in PowerPoint 2010

In this quick PowerPoint tutorial you will learn how to make data for bar graphs in PowerPoint using Excel. In PowerPoint 2010, the process is much easier than years prior since Excel opens automatically whenever a chart of any kind is inserted into the presentation! Before starting be sure to have your data ready or follow along with the data used in the examples.

First start up PowerPoint, it will take you to a default slide of title-body text. Clear this out. Next go to Insert and click on Chart.

excel powerpoint chart bar chart

Next we want to go down to Bar. The kind of bar graph you use doesn’t matter, use which you feel best expresses the data you’re presenting. In this tutorial a simple Clustered Bar is being used.

bar graph using excel

As you can see immediately, Excel has opened side by side with your PowerPoint window. This spreadsheet is linked to that particular graph.

Any data edited and inputted within the blue border encompassing this group of rows and columns will appear in the graph. Simply drag the corner handle of the blue border for it to encompass more columns and rows.

bar chart powerpoint

All that is left to do is edit the content (categories and series) according to what you wish to represent and insert numerical data.

sample data for bar graphs

The structure and order you input the series data (usually in the columns) doesn’t matter, but the order of something such as years and months or time-related categories (usually in the rows) should be in either descending or ascending order. When done, you will have the bulk of your bar graph done.

using excel for bar graphs in powerpoint 2010

After that, you will need to edit colors or set a style for your graph if you desire. See our other tutorials on doing these actions or check our free PPT backgrounds featuring bar charts and bar graphs with sample data.

If you wish to change the bar graph style, simply select the whole graph. You will see Chart Tools and a greenish tint over three tabs right below it. Select Design the select Change Chart Type.

using excel powerpoint 2010 bar graphs

From here, just select a different kind of chart type for your chart to change the type and appearance. The data will be moved around accordingly, but it won’t be changed or altered.

making and editing bar chart graphs

Note that changing the Chart Type works with certain amounts of data. With data such as this, line or bar graphs are fine. On the other hand, you wouldn’t exactly use a pie graph for this kind of data, but you would use several pie graphs.

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