Bottom Line: Learn the pros and cons of embedding Excel workbooks in PowerPoint files.
Skill Level: Beginner
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Using Excel with PowerPoint
You'll notice in the tutorial video above that I mention previous and upcoming videos. That's because this is a sample video lesson from an online course that we offer called the Excel to PowerPoint Integrations Course. In that course, we take a look at:
- The 5 different paste options in PowerPoint when copying from Excel.
- Copying charts versus ranges into PowerPoint.
- Prevent sharing of sensitive data by choosing the right paste option.
- Keyboard shortcuts for pasting in PowerPoint.
- Linking data to files on SharePoint/OneDrive.
- Embedding charts with slicers in PowerPoint.
Embedding an Excel Chart into PowerPoint
The actual embedding of the Excel file into PowerPoint is easy. It happens when we paste an element of the Excel file into a PowerPoint slide using either of the first two Paste Options in the Paste menu.
For example, the chart shown in the PowerPoint slide below is actually pasted from an Excel file. The chart was built in Excel using data from within the workbook. All you see in PowerPoint is the chart, but behind the scenes, PowerPoint is storing the entire workbook in the file because I chose the first Paste Option: “Use Destination Theme & Embed Workbook.”
This does not link your PowerPoint chart to your existing Excel file. Instead, it creates a copy of the Excel file and embeds it into the PowerPoint file. So if you make a change to the original workbook, the PowerPoint chart will not reflect it.
That doesn't mean you can't make changes to the embedded chart. If you want to edit the data in the PowerPoint chart, you can do so. With the chart selected, go to the Chart Design tab and select Edit Data in Excel from the Edit Data dropdown.
This will open an Excel window that looks just like the original Excel workbook, but is actually the embedded copy. From there, any changes you make will show on the PowerPoint slide.
Something to note is that formatting changes on the chart should be made to the chart directly in PowerPoint. But data changes are to be done in the embedded Excel file.
Embedding an Excel Range into PowerPoint
If you want to paste a range into PowerPoint instead of a chart, you copy the range and then choose the Paste Option that says Embed (the third option).
When you paste the range into PowerPoint, it looks and acts like a picture that you can move and resize. However, it also has the Excel workbook embedded in it.
To edit the range, all you have to do is double-click on the range image and it opens up a pane the size of the image that is like a window into your embedded Excel file. You can navigate and resize the range directly from that window.
Pros and Cons of Embedding a Workbook in PowerPoint
- The Excel file travels with the PowerPoint file. This makes it easier for other users to update and edit the data. This is especially helpful with last-minute changes since the source information is right there at your fingertips.
- The biggest disadvantage is that embedding the file creates multiple copies of the workbook. That can get confusing when you go to make updates because you will have to make the same updates in both locations if you want them both to be accurate.
- Another disadvantage is that the Excel file could contain sensitive data that should not be shared. Because all you see is the small portion in the slides, it's easy to forget that there is other data that is being included in the file which you might not intend to share with other users.
- And finally, embedding the Excel files increases the size of the PowerPoint files, which may sometimes cause problems with opening, sharing, or storing them.
I encourage you to check out these related posts:
- How to Quickly Move or Copy Sheets Between Workbooks in Excel
- 5 Keyboard Shortcuts to Paste Values in Excel
- Paste Values with the Right-click & Drag Mouse Shortcut
Using Excel in conjunction with PowerPoint can really improve your presentations and reports. If you're looking to learn more about how to use them in tandem, please check out the Excel to PowerPoint Integrations Course included in the Elevate Excel Training Program.
I hope this tutorial has been helpful for you. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave a comment below.