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GN: Link to Chart Images from PowerPoint

Revision Date: 2010-01-22


I have PowerPoint slides that display many different CHARTrunner or SQCpack chart images. It is a lot of work to update all the chart images in my PowerPoint slides before I make my next presentation.

Is there any way to make this process easier?


You can easily show the most recently created chart images in your presentation by following these instructions.

Create a chart Workspace in CHARTrunner or SQCpack. (Remember that Workspaces are at the bottom of the list of charts.) This Workspace should contain of all of the charts that are to be displayed in your PowerPoint presentation. Give the Workspace the same name as your presentation to aid in keeping track of which Workspace goes with which PowerPoint presentation.

Whenever you want to generate new images for your PowerPoint presentation, right-click on the appropriate Workspace and select "Save all charts as image to specified folder.“

The folder that you specify must exist on the computer that is used to create and to display the PowerPoint presentation. Let’s assume that you specified the following folder:


It is suggested that you create your charts as "EMF - Windows Enhanced Metafile" images. This type of image resizes well to fit the space allocated to it on the PowerPoint slide. An image size of 800 x 600 is a good default size for EMF images.

You must insert a Link to File for each chart image you want to display in the PowerPoint presentation. In PowerPoint select Insert > Picture > From File, navigate to the folder containing the chart images (e.g. C:ChartsPresentation1), select the appropriate image file (e.g. MyChart1.emf), and finally select Link to File from the selection button at the lower right of the "Insert Picture" window.

If you Insert the chart image rather than Link to it, the image will not update in PowerPoint after an updated image is created by CHARTrunner or SQCpack. An Inserted image is simply a copy of what the chart image looked like at the time it was placed on the slide.

In PowerPoint 2007 there is an additional option called Insert and Link. If the presentation is being used where the linked image is not saved, it will display the last loaded image in the presentation. For example, if the linked image is on your computer and you take the presentation elsewhere on a flash drive, your charts will still work even though the link is severed.

There does not seem to be any way in PowerPoint to see or change the file specification for a linked image file. You might want to at least put the chart name in the chart title to help you keep track of which CHARTrunner or SQCpack chart is actually being displayed on a slide.

When PowerPoint opens a presentation that contains linked images, it may prompt to ask if it should update the Linked images on the slides. If you want the presentation to reflect the most recently generated chart images, then you must say "Yes" and allow PowerPoint to update the images on the slides.

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