Embedding Data from an Excel Spreadsheet in a Power Point Presentation

Embedding data from an Excel spreadsheet into a Power Point presentation is especially useful if the basic presentation is used repeatedly and frequently. When data is embedded in a presentation or document it allows the data in the presentation to be updated automatically when the data is updated in the source spreadsheet.

Presuming both the source spreadsheet and the destination presentation already exist and are open in separate windows, follow these steps to embed the data:

  1. Select the range of cells you want to copy in the Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Click Copy on the toolbar or from the drop down Edit menu.
  3. Click on the Power Point presentation window to make it active and select the slide or notes page where you want to insert the cells from the spreadsheet.
  4. Select Paste Special from the drop down Edit menu.
  5. The Paste Special window displays. Select the Paste Special option. Highlight Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object. Click OK.
  6. The Power Point presentation slide will display with the selected data in the selected location.

These instructions apply to Microsoft Office 2003, specifically Excel 2003 and Power Point 2003.

This process can be extremely convenient. It is not, however, without risk. One of the most common risks is forgetting where the data is coming from. To help prevent this, insert a comment, containing the name of the presentation and possibly the path to it, in the cell(s) used as the source of the data. The location and path to the source location should also be recorded in the notes section of the presentation.

Another common problem is that the data used is based on one or more calculations. The use of calculations in spreadsheets presents many opportunities for error and these errors can carry over to the presentation without careful monitoring. One method for combating this problem is to record both the formula utilized by the spreadsheet and a more general formula that doesn’t rely on cell locations or similar data, in the notes section of the presentation. This has the added advantage of putting the formula at the speakers fingertips should it be needed to answer questions. Further, if the data used to calculate the value of the formula is available elsewhere in the presentation, it can serve as a valuable test to help ensure accuracy.

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