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Word 2016

How To Convert Tables To Charts In Word

Have you ever completed a table, had it exactly the way you wanted it, all formatting done – a real work of art – and you hand it in to your boss and he says, “well that’s great, but I would really rather see it in a chart?” Yes, that has actually happened to me. And worse yet, I didn’t know how to easily convert the table to a chart.  How embarrassing!

The good news is that I learned how to convert tables to charts and now I am going to share that information with you.

Follow the steps below to learn how:

  1. Select the table you would like converted to a chart.
  2. Be certain the Insert tab of your Ribbon is displayed.
  3. In the Text group, click the Object tool.
  4. In the resulting dialog box, select Microsoft Graph chart from the list of Object Types.
  5. Click OK to display a graph of your data.
  6. Format your graph to your liking.
  7. Click anywhere outside your inserted graph to continue working in your document.

You may notice that there is a Chart tool in the Illustrations group on the Insert tab of your Ribbon. You might be fooled into thinking that this would work for you just as well as the steps above. It will not.

If you have tried this, you know that the end result will be a generic chart created by Excel and placed directly in your document. Yes, you can also get the same end result if you choose Microsoft Excel Chart in step 4 above.  Word does not base your chart upon the table data you selected it in step 1 above. Instead, it inserts your chart into the first cell of the table, deleting anything that was in that cell.

For that reason, I feel it is better to avoid using the Chart tool and insert a Microsoft Graph Chart object.