Google Slides – Inserting static & dynamic charts

It’s common to see some kind of chart showing figures or statistics in presentations. Slides provides easy ways to insert charts, either as a static one (the figures are fixed) or as a dynamic one (the figures can be updated from a linked spreadsheet)

There are three ways to do this:

  1. Insert chart within Slides, then edit in Sheets
  2. Copy from Sheets and paste in Slides
  3. Insert from Sheets

Inserting charts within Slides

Go to the “Insert” menu then click on “Chart”. You have 4 chart types to choose from: bar, column, line, pie.

Let’s insert a bar chart. So, select “Bar”.

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This does two things: 1) It creates a bar graph on your slide with some default data;

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2) It creates a Google Sheet in your My Drive, where that data comes from. The chart and the spreadsheet are linked, meaning if you change the data you’ll change the chart on the slide.

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Open the Sheet and you’ll see the data and a chart on the sheet.

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Edit the data and edit the title in the chart. See my posts on Google Sheets, if you need any guidance on using Sheets.

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When you go back to your slide, you’ll see that the chart now has an “update” button. Click that to update the chart with the latest changes.

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Here you’ll see the data and titles have been updated.

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Copying and pasting a chart into Slides

In Sheets, click on your chart and select “Copy chart” (either it’ll be at the top of the chart or you’ll have to open the chart menu).

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Go to Slides and paste your chart in, by pressing Ctrl+V. You will be presented with a pop-up which asks you if you want to link the chart to a spreadsheet. If you want to be able to update the data on the chart, whenever it’s changed, then select “Link”. If you just want a static chart, then click “Don’t link”.

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Here I’ve clicked “Link” and as you can see it inserts the chart and in the top-right hand corner, I have 2 options. On the left, it gives you the option to unlink the chart form the Sheet. On the right, it allows you to open the linked Sheet.

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Here I’ve clicked “Don’t link” and as you can see, those options are not available.

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Inserting a chart from within Slides to a linked Sheet

The final way, is to make a spreadsheet first and create a chart from the data, then to link that Sheet with your slide.

Here I’ve got some data on problems in our classrooms.

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I’ve made a simple pie chart to visually show the data.

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Go to the “Insert” menu then click on “Chart”. Select “From Sheets…”.

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This opens the Insert chart dialogue box which displays your spreadsheets with the most recent one first. Click on the one you want and press “Select”.

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This opens the “Import chart” dialogue box. If you’ve got more than one chart, it will show all of them here. Click on the one you want, then press “Import”.

You have the choice here, as to whether you want to link it with the spreadsheet. By default, it’s linked, just uncheck “Link to spreadsheet” if you only want a static one.

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Your chart will then be pasted onto the slide. Notice, that it doesn’t fill the screen, but you can move and resize it later.

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As stated above if you’ve chosen a linked chart, you’ll see two icons in the top right-hand corner. Let’s change the data in the sheet. Click on the arrow on the right to open the linked Sheet.

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Change the data.

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When you return back to your slide, after a few moments, an “update” button appears. Click on it to update your chart.

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eBooks now available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, and Slides:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


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