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When creating presentations for work, school, or whatever, using PowerPoint is your best option. With templates already in place, it’s quick and easy to organize your information in a logical and appealing manner to share with others.

If you have a lot of data that needs to be shared, the best way to present it to an audience is by creating a graph or chart. That way, they won’t have to try to figure out a spreadsheet full of numbers.

That may leave you wondering how to make a graph on PowerPoint.

Thankfully, it’s not hard to create charts for presentations using this software. We’ve put together the steps you’ll need to create eye-catching, informative PowerPoint graphs for your next project — whatever it may be!

How to Make a Graph on PowerPoint

PowerPoint was developed to give people the opportunity to create dynamic slide shows that inform audiences. It offers a variety of features that allows you to insert text and images, as well as the ability to enhance your presentation by adding charts for presentations. If you’ve been wondering how to make a graph on PowerPoint, these are the steps you’ll need to follow:

Step 1: Open PowerPoint

The first thing you’ll need to do when inserting charts in PowerPoint is to open the program.

Depending on how you have your computer set up, you may be able to find the icon on your desktop shortcut toolbar, or you may need to go to the start menu.

In either case, look for the red circle with the P in the middle and click on it.

how to make a graph on PowerPoint - go to powerpoint

Step 2: Find or Create Your Presentation

After opening PowerPoint, you’ll then need to open your presentation (if it’s already completed) or create a new one.

After you have opened or created the presentation, you’ll then need to go to the slide where you want the graph to appear.

how to insert graph in PowerPoint - find.a template

Step 3: Click Insert

When inserting charts in PowerPoint, you’ll want to look for the Insert option. This is typically found in the toolbar at the top of the page.

Click on it.

how to insert graph in PowerPoint - click on insert

Step 4: Choose “Chart”

 After you click on Insert, this will open a drop-down menu, and you’ll want to look for the Chart option.

It can be found approximately in the middle of the menu box, in the “Illustrations” category. It has a picture of bars with the word “Chart” next to it.

Click on that.

how to insert graph in PowerPoint - click on the chart icon

Step 5: Decide What Type of Chart to Insert

Once you have clicked on “Chart,” it will bring up another menu with different options to choose from. You’ll need to determine what type of chart or graph you want to insert.

The list of options is on the left-hand side of the window, and you can choose from column, line, pie, bar, and area.

Once you have decided what type of graph or chart for presentations you want to insert, click on that option.

how to make a graph on PowerPoint - dfind the type of chart you want to use

Step 6: Add Your Information

When learning how to insert a graph in PowerPoint, after you have picked the type you want to add and clicked on OK, you will then need to insert the data that will be used to create the graph.

new window with a spreadsheet will open when working with charts for presentations. This is where you’ll need to add your labels and the data that will be displayed visually in the chart/graph.

how to make a graph on PowerPoint - import date from excel

How to Make a Bar Graph in PowerPoint

If you are wondering how to make a bar graph in PowerPoint, these are the specific steps you’ll follow to achieve your goal.

how to make a graph on PowerPoint - presentaion with bar graph

Step 1: Open PowerPoint

If you haven’t already opened the PowerPoint program, that is the first step you’ll need to take when asking how to make a graph on PowerPoint, particularly a bar graph.

Step 2: Insert the Graph

In the toolbar at the top of the page, you’ll see Insert.

Click on this.

Step 3: Click on “Chart”

When going through the how to make a graph on PowerPoint process, after you click on Insert, this will open another menu. You’ll want to look for “Chart,” which can be found near the middle of the menu bar, and click on it.

Step 4: Choose Bar Graph from the Menu

After you have clicked on Insert and “Chart” while in PowerPoint, you will then highlight the “Bar” option, which is found on the left-hand side of the window.

After you have highlighted “Bar” from the list, this will bring up different options in the middle of the window. You can choose from the following types of bar graphs:

  • Clustered
  • Stacked
  • 100% Stacked
  • 3-D Clustered
  • 3-D Stacked
  • 3-D 100% Stacked

These choices are found at the top of the window. Click on the one you want to insert into your presentation before clicking OK at the bottom of the window.

how to make a graph on PowerPoint - bar graphs

Step 5: Insert Your Data

When asking how to make a bar graph in PowerPoint, after you have clicked the OK button, this will insert the graph into your slide and open a window that looks like Excel for you to enter your data.

You’ll need to insert your data so that it can be translated into PowerPoint graphs and turned into a visual display.

The default for bar graphs includes threes series and four categories. You can always add more by typing the information into the spreadsheet, and it will automatically be added to your bar graph.

After you have inserted all of the information necessary for your graph, click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the spreadsheet to close it out.

The data should be visually displayed in your graph.

How to Make a Line Graph

When wondering how to insert a graph in PowerPoint, you may find that a bar graph doesn’t present your data the way you want it to be displayed. That’s when creating a line graph might be in your best interest, and it can be achieved with the following steps:

charts for presentations - line chart

Step 1: Open PowerPoint

To insert a line graph into your presentation, you’ll need to open the PowerPoint program.

Go to the slide where you want the line graph to be included.

Step 2: Insert the Graph

At the top of the page, look for Insert in the toolbar and click on that.

Step 3: Click on “Chart”

After you have clicked on Insert, this will open another menu full of options.

You will find “Chart” near the middle of the menu.

Click on it.

Step 4: Highlight “Line”

After clicking on “Chart,” this will open a new window that has a list of options to choose from.

On the left-hand side, you’ll want to look for “Line” and highlight it. This will bring up different line chart options for you to choose from, including:

  • Stacked Line
  • 100% Stacked Line
  • Line with Markers
  • Line or XY Graphs
  • Stacked Line with Markers
  • 100% Stacked Line with Markers
  • 3-D Line

These options are located at the top of the window.

how to make a graph on PowerPoint - line graph

Step 5: Insert Your Data

Once the line graph has been inserted into the slide, a new window with a spreadsheet will open. Add your data to the cells, and it will be reflected in your line graph.

After inserting all the information, click the X in the upper right-hand corner of the spreadsheet to close it out.

How to Insert a Pie Chart

In addition to bar graphs and line graphs, another common (and popular) way to visually display information is to use a pie chart. If you are wondering how to make a graph on PowerPoint, especially a pie chart, here’s what you’ll need to do:

charts for presentations - pie chart

Step 1: Open PowerPoint

This can be done by clicking on the icon on your desktop shortcut toolbar, or by going to your start menu and choosing PowerPoint from the list of options.

Once the program is open, go to the slide where you want to insert your pie chart.

Step 2: Click on Insert

In the toolbar at the top of the page, you should see Insert.

Click on that.

Step 3: Choose “Charts”

When asking how to make a graph on PowerPoint, after you click on Insert, this will open another menu, and you’ll want to look for “Chart” in the list of options. Once you’ve found it near the middle of the menu, click on it.

Step 4: Look for “Pie”

Clicking on “Chart” opens a new window with various options to choose from.

There’s a list on the left-hand side, and you’ll want to highlight “Pie” by clicking on it.

Step 5: Pick Your Pie Chart

A new set of options will now appear in the middle of the window. You have several different pie chart choices to choose from, including:

  • Pie
  • 3-D Pie
  • Pie of Pie
  • Bar of Pie
  • Doughnut

Click on the option you want to insert into your presentation.

how to make a graph on PowerPoint - pie graph

Step 6: Add Your Data

In the spreadsheet window, you’ll want to insert the labels and numbers that will need to be displayed on your pie chart.

Once you have completed that task, click on the X in the upper right-hand corner of the spreadsheet to close it out.

Deciding What Type of Chart to Use

In addition to knowing how to insert a graph into PowerPoint, it’s also helpful to know what type of graph you should be using. Charts and graphs make it easier to visualize data, but they display the information in different ways. Here are some things to consider when deciding what type of chart to use:

  • If you have data that is separated into categories, you’ll want to use a bar graph or pie chart
  • If you are trying to show the relationship between different values in your data, then you’ll want to use a line graph
  • When comparing values, bar graphs and pie charts allow for precise comparisons
  • To show patterns or trends in your data, a line graph can help highlight that information

How to Edit Graph in PowerPoint

In addition to asking how to make a graph on PowerPoint, you might also be wondering how to edit graph in PowerPoint. Thankfully, this process is just as easy as inserting one.

Step 1: Open PowerPoint

If you aren’t already in the PowerPoint program, you’ll need to open it on your computer.

Open the presentation you have created and go to the slide that has the graph you want to edit.

Step 2: Click on the Chart or Graph

Once you have found the slide it is on, you’ll then want to click on it.

You’ll know you have clicked on the graph because it will have a border around it with circles that are placed at intervals around the edge.

how to make a graph on PowerPoint - dfind the type of chart you want to use

Step 3: Double-Click

Once you have highlighted it, you’ll then want to double-click on the chart.

how to make a bar graph in PowerPoint - bouble click on the graph to edit

This will open a pop-up menu with a list of choices to choose from.

how to make a bar graph in PowerPoint - change graph colors

Step 4: Edit Your Data

About halfway down the list, you will see an option that says “Edit Data” with an arrow next to it.

Click on this.

Another list of options will open, and you can choose from “Edit Data” or “Edit Data in Excel.”

how to make a graph on PowerPoint - import date from excel

If you choose the “Edit Data,” this will open a spreadsheet in your PowerPoint presentation. You can make any necessary changes right there, and they will be reflected in your chart/graph.

When asking how to edit a graph in PowerPoint, if you click on “Edit Data in Excel,” this will open the Excel program in another window. You can change the information here, and it will also be reflected in the chart/graph that you have inserted into your presentation.

Deciding Whether to Edit in PowerPoint or Excel

During the how to edit graph in PowerPoint process, deciding whether to edit the data in PowerPoint or in Excel will come down to personal preference. If the information is in an Excel spreadsheet, you can save this as a separate file and access it for other projects. This can be beneficial if you’ll need this data in reports or other places in addition to your PowerPoint presentation.

If your slide show is the only place where you need to know how to insert a graph in PowerPoint, then editing the data directly in this program will save you disk space because you won’t need to save another file.

Other Editing Options

In addition to editing the data that appears in your chart/graph, you can also make other changes as well.

After highlighting and double-clicking on your graph, from the list of options you’ll see that you can “Change Chart Type,” “Edit Alt Text,” choose a different font type or even change the fill and outline colors.

All of these edits can make it easier for your audience to read and understand the data you’ve included in your graph.

If you are creating a presentation for work, you might consider using colors that align with your company. This can help you promote the brand.

Should you be creating a slide show for a class, using the school colors can show off your pride and highlight how much you’re enjoying your education.

how to edit graph in PowerPoint - edit graphs and charts

Add Some Pizzazz to Your PowerPoint

Using PowerPoint to create presentations is a great way to show your audience exactly what you’re talking about. To make it even more visually appealing, especially when it comes to complicated data, you might consider adding charts and graphs.

This might leave you wondering how to make a graph on PowerPoint. The simplest way includes the following:

  • Step 1: Open PowerPoint
  • Step 2: Find or Create Your Presentation
  • Step 3: Click Insert
  • Step 4: Choose “Chart”
  • Step 5: Decide What Type of Chart to Insert
  • Step 6: Add Your Information

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