An Excel Chart in MS Word? Yes, you can!

Did you know that you can add a chart – Pie, Bar, Line, etc. - to your Word document without actually opening Excel?  So if you are loath to open Excel but still want to use the chart feature then just use Microsoft Word to create a chart.

Note: If your Word document is saved as Word 97-2003 document i.e. in compatible mode, then functionality of this feature will be available, but limited, and the instructions will be different. You can convert your document to the 2007 file format by clicking on the Office button and then clicking Convert.

Here’s how you can insert a chart in Word:

Once you open Word, click on the Insert tab. Then from the Illustrations group, click on Chart. Make sure to position your cursor where you want the chart to be placed.

From the Insert Chart dialog box, click and select the chart type you want and then click OK. Instantly three things will occur simultaneously:

1. The type of chart you selected will be inserted on to your Word document.
2. Your Word document will be re-sized and moved to the left of your screen.
3. An Excel document, with sample data, will open to the right of your screen.

Now that you have a Word document and an Excel document open side by side, all you have to do is switch the sample data with your own information in the Excel sheet and your chart in Word will be updated accordingly. Once you have input all your own data, and the chart illustrates your information correctly, just close the Excel document.

Now your Word document will revert back to its original size. If you want to edit the data again all you have to do is right-click the chart and from the menu choose Edit Data. The Excel sheet will appear and you can edit the data.

You can work with your chart in Word and customize it even further. Make sure you are clicked on the chart. Notice the three contextual tabs that have appeared: Design, Layout and Format? These tabs are similar to the ones you would see in Excel, if you were creating the chart in Excel, except now these tabs are in Word. The contextual tabs have all the tools you will need to modify your chart features: change the color, add a title, add data labels, etc. Of course, you can re-size the chart by using the chart handles. See my previous blog, Have Fun with Charts in Excel 2007 for more tips on working with charts, regardless of whether the chart is in Excel or in Word!
Rina B.


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