Inserting charts

To insert a chart:

  1. Select the Insert tab, then click the Chart command in the Illustrations group.


  1. A dialog box will appear. Select a category from the left pane, and review the charts that appear in the right pane.
  2. Select the desired chart, then click OK.


A chart and a spreadsheet will appear. The data that appears in the spreadsheet is placeholder source datathat you will replace with your own information. The source data is used to create the Word chart.


Enter your data into the worksheet.


If necessary, click and drag the lower-right corner of the blue line to increase or decrease the data rangefor rows and columns. Only the data enclosed by the blue lines will appear in the chart.


When you're done, click the X to close the spreadsheet.


The chart will be completed.


You can edit the chart data at any time by selecting your chart and clicking the Edit Data command on theDesign tab.


Creating charts with existing Excel data

If you already have data in an existing Excel file that you would like to use for a Word chart, you can transfer the data by copying and pasting it. Just open the spreadsheet in Excel, select and copy the desired data, and paste it into the source data area for your Word chart.

You can also embed an existing Excel chart into your Word document. This can be useful when you know you'll need to update the data in your Excel file and would like the Word chart to automatically update whenever the Excel data is changed.


Modifying charts with chart tools

There are many ways to customize and organize your charts. For example, Word allows you to change the chart type, rearrange a chart's data, and even change the layout and style.

To change the chart type:

If you find that your data isn't well suited to a certain chart, it's easy to switch to a new chart type. In our example, we'll change our chart from a line chart to a column chart.

  1. Select the chart you want to change. The Design tab will appear on the right side of the Ribbon.


From the Design tab, click the Change Chart Type command.


A dialog box will appear. Select the desired chart type, then click OK.


The chart will change in the document.


To switch row and column data:

Sometimes you may want to change the way charts group your data. For example, in the chart below the book sales data is grouped by genre, with columns for each year. However, we could switch the rows and columns so the chart will group the data by year, with columns for each genre. In both cases, the chart contains the same data—it's just organized differently.


  1. Select the chart you want to modify. The Design tab will appear.
  2. From the Design tab, select the Edit Data command in the Data group.


Click the chart again, then select the Switch Row/Column command in the Data group.


The rows and columns will be switched. In our example, the data is now grouped by year, with columns for each genre.


We've noticed that when numeric data has been entered in the first column of the spreadsheet, switching rows and columns may cause unexpected results. One solution is to type an apostrophe before each number, which tells the spreadsheet to format it as text (instead of a numeric value). For example, the year 2013 would be entered as '2013.


To change the chart layout:

Word's predefined chart layouts allow you to modify chart elements—including chart titles, legends, and data labels—to make your chart easier to read.

  1. Select the chart you want to modify. The Design tab will appear.
  2. From the Design tab, click the Quick Layout command.


Select the desired predefined layout from the menu that appears.


The chart will update to reflect the new layout.


To change a chart element (such as the chart title), click the element and begin typing.


To change the chart style:

Chart styles allow you to quickly modify the look and feel of your chart.

  1. Select the chart you want to modify. The Design tab will appear.
  2. From the Design tab, click the More drop-down arrow in the Chart Styles group.


A drop-down menu of styles will appear. Select the style you want to use.


The chart will appear in the selected style.


You can also use the chart formatting shortcut buttons to quickly add chart elements, change the chart style, and filter the chart data.