Export to PowerPoint / Word
One of Macabacus' most popular features is the ability to export Excel ranges (cells) and charts into PowerPoint presentations and Word documents with a professional look. These tools overcome numerous limitations of using native Office functionality to paste Excel data into presentations and documents.
You can export ranges and charts from Excel to PowerPoint presentations and Word documents in a variety of forms using convenient keyboard shortcuts, or buttons on the Macabacus tab within the
Export group. Alternatively, in PowerPoint and Word, Excel ranges and charts can be imported into your presentations and documents using the buttons on the Macabacus tab within the
Export vs. Import
You can either export Excel data from within Excel or import Excel data from within PowerPoint/Word—the results are identical. We will focus on exporting here to simplify the language in discussing these features.
When multiple instances of Office applications are running, add-ins cannot reliably determine which instance to reference. Therefore, when exporting Excel data to PowerPoint/Word, Macabacus requires single instances of applicable Office applications. See our general usage tips for more information.
Choose from several ways to export Excel data to PowerPoint presentations and Word documents using the
Macabacus > Export > Export Excel menu in Excel, or the
Macabacus > Import > Excel menus in PowerPoint and Word.
Export as Picture
Exports the selected cell range to PowerPoint/Word as an enhanced metafile picture. Exporting multi-cell ranges as pictures is generally the preferred way to export, since it produces the most reliable and expected visual result while contributing to file size far less than embedding workbooks.
Macabacus can automatically hide undesirable features when exporting—such as error checking and cell note/comment indicators, blue Page Break Preview borders, and table header sorting arrows—so they do not appear in PowerPoint/Word, without otherwise affecting the appearance of the original source range.
Export as Table
Exports the selected cell range to PowerPoint/Word as a table. You may prefer this option if you plan to make formatting changes to the data in PowerPoint/Word that you do not intend to reflect in the source workbook. This export method has some limitations:
- Formatting options for PowerPoint and Word tables are very different from and limited relative to formatting options for Excel ranges, so exported tables may appear inconsistent with source ranges. This is an Office limitation that can be observed by simply copying and pasting as tables natively.
- When exporting ranges containing cells with Center Across Selection alignment as a table, an apparent PowerPoint bug may insert extra columns in the resulting table in some cases. You can confirm this behavior by copying/pasting cells natively using PowerPoint's Keep Source Formatting option.
- Exporting large cell ranges as tables with the recolor fonts option enabled may noticeably slow the export operation.
Export as Embedded Workbook
Exports the selected cell range to PowerPoint/Word as an embedded workbook. This option allows you to make changes directly to the underlying data from within PowerPoint/Word, although this is not generally recommended since (a) data should be manipulated at its source and (b) embedded workbooks may bloat presentation/document file size.
Export as Text
Exports the text in a single cell inline with other text at the cursor position in PowerPoint or Word. This is useful when writing memos that contain lots of data sourced from your spreadsheets that can be updated with just a few mouse clicks.
PowerPoint and Word behave differently when creating inline text links due to fundamental differences in how Microsoft built these applications. When you export inline text to PowerPoint, the imported text must be hyperlinked to store information about the link. While PowerPoint does not allow the removal of hyperlink formatting altogether, Macabacus lets you configure hyperlink font and underline colors in the
General > Import/Export section of the Settings dialog.
You can specify a hyperlink font color for all text links or select the No Color option that instructs Macabacus to conform the text link font color to the adjacent text. To best conceal the hyperlink underline, we recommend selecting your slides’ background color. However, this will not mask the hyperlink in shapes with fill colors that differ from the slide background or on slides with different background colors. Macabacus’s ability to format your hyperlink colors in PowerPoint may depend on your Office version.
Unfortunately, PowerPoint provides limited ability to format hyperlinks further, so the linked text will always feature an underline (unless the links are broken). When you are ready to finalize your presentation, click the
Macabacus > Links > More Linking Tools > Remove Hyperlinks button to remove all Macabacus hyperlinks from the presentation. This breaks all inline text links in the presentation and cannot be undone (aside from using Undo promptly afterward).
If you prefer to keep a copy of the presentation with text links intact, save the linked presentation when it is finalized and then create a duplicate presentation with text links broken. Consider naming the duplicate presentation to indicate that its text links are broken (e.g., Presentation1_BrokenLinks.PPTX).
Word does not use hyperlinks for inline text linking.
Export as Chart
Exports the selected cell range to PowerPoint/Word as a chart. Exporting cells in this manner may be preferable when you do not wish to create the chart in your workbook. However, it is generally a best practice to create the chart in your workbook, format it as desired, and then export the chart instead. Also, due to an apparent PowerPoint bug, charts created in this manner may become "zeroed-out" after reopening a presentation containing them. This bug appears to affect only some environments, particularly SharePoint environments.
Choose from several ways to export Excel charts to PowerPoint presentations and Word documents using the
Macabacus > Export > Export Excel menu in Excel, or the
Macabacus > Import > Excel menus in PowerPoint and Word.
Export as Chart
Exports the selected chart to PowerPoint/Word as a chart. This is generally the preferred way to export charts since it produces the most reliable and expected visual result, avoiding potential Windows/Office image quality issues. It also preserves the ability to format resulting charts directly in PowerPoint/Word, which is not generally recommended but may be desirable in some scenarios.
Export as Picture
Exports the selected chart to PowerPoint/Word as an enhanced metafile picture. This method produces a reliable and expected visual result, but may be affected by Windows/Office image quality issues.
Export as Embedded Workbook
Exports the selected chart to PowerPoint/Word as an embedded workbook. This option allows you to make changes directly to the underlying data/chart from within PowerPoint/Word, although this is not generally recommended since (a) chart data should be manipulated at its source and (b) embedded workbooks may bloat presentation/document file size.
Active Presentation / Document / Workbook
When exporting from Excel and multiple presentations/documents are open, Macabacus pastes the exported cell range/chart from into the active presentation/document. When importing from Excel in either PowerPoint or Word, Macabacus will choose the range/chart selected in the active Excel workbook.
A shape that is selected in PowerPoint or Word upon an import/export operation is called the "destination shape." Whether or not a destination shape is selected, and the type of destination shape, if any, determines placement and sizing of the pasted range/chart on the destination slide or in the destination document.
What is a placeholder?
To understand destination shapes in PowerPoint, it is important to understand PowerPoint placeholders. In PowerPoint, a placeholder shape is a box with a dotted outline, designed for the placement of content on the slide. The placeholder shape is most commonly used for text, although other types of placeholders may accommodate other content types. Text placeholders usually contain placeholder text that disappears when you begin typing within the placeholder. A placeholder can only accept the type of content for which it is designed. For example, you cannot place a picture in a text placeholder; there are other placeholder types that can accommodate pictures.
Placement of pasted objects in PowerPoint is summarized as follows:
- If any destination shape is selected, the pasted object (e.g., picture, table) will be inserted onto the slide at the top left position of the destination shape.
- If the destination shape is a placeholder that accepts the type of shape being pasted, then the pasted object is inserted into the placeholder.
- If the destination shape is a placeholder that does not accept the type of shape being pasted, then the pasted object is positioned on top of the placeholder.
- If the destination shape is NOT a placeholder, but another type of shape, then the pasted object replaces the destination shape, and the destination shape is deleted.
- If no destination shape is selected, then the pasted object is placed either at the center or top left corner of the slide, depending on your import/export settings (see below).
Refreshing linked shapes in placeholders
When you place a shape in a placeholder and then resize or move it, the containing placeholder stretches and moves with the shape. If you delete the shape the placeholder resets immediately, snapping back into position as defined on the slide's layout. This is native PowerPoint behavior.
Consequently, when you resize or move a linked shape contained in a placeholder then refresh the shape's link, the refreshed shape may return to the size and position of the containing placeholder because in most cases Macabacus deletes the original shape (resetting the placeholder) and replaces it with a new one.
If you find this behavior undesirable, you can (a) modify your slides' layouts to better accommodate your content, (b) choose a more appropriate layout, or (c) not export into placeholders. The native behavior described above supports the "best practices" view that content in placeholders should generally not be resized / repositioned.
Placement of pasted objects in Word is summarized as follows:
- If a destination shape is selected and that shape is an inline shape, the pasted object is inserted into the document at the same point as the destination shape, and the destination shape will be deleted.
- If a destination shape is selected and that shape is a floated shape, the pasted object is inserted into the document at the same top left coordinates as the destination shape, and the destination shape will be deleted.
- If no destination shape is selected, then the pasted object is placed either in line with text at the cursor, or floated over text, depending on your import/export settings (see below).
- If the destination shape is a table and more than one cell—or the entire table—is selected, the placement described above applies. If a single cell in a Word table is selected, the pasted object is inserted into that cell.
When a destination shape is selected in PowerPoint or Word, you can match the width, height, both width and height, or neither dimension of the pasted object to the destination shape. These options are set with checkboxes labeled Width and Height on the Macabacus tab in the
Import group in PowerPoint and Word, and in the
Export group in Excel. If no destination shape is selected, pasted objects will be inserted at their original sizes.
When exporting charts or cells to PowerPoint/Word as pictures, Macabacus transparently changes the zoom level of the source sheet to 100% before copying the chart or cells, and then restores the zoom level to its original value once the operation is complete. This may result in pictures that do not exactly match what you see in Excel if your zoom level is not already set to 100%, because text wrapping and chart elements may display differently at different zoom levels. This occasionally happens with charts, but is less common with cell ranges. If this happens, ensure that your chart or cells appear correctly at 100% zoom prior to exporting to PowerPoint/Word.
If you find that the picture exported by Macabacus to PowerPoint/Word is cut off (i.e., missing rows or columns), this could be a native Office problem. To confirm, copy the cell range as a picture natively (
Home > Copy > Copy as Picture) and then paste this picture into PowerPoint/Word natively (
Ctrl+V). Select the
Format > Picture option and the
Appearance option that matches your Macabacus settings (described below) in the
Copy Picture dialog. If you observe the same result, then the problem is either native to Office or related to your video hardware, drivers, or settings, which we cannot troubleshoot. If not, please email us the affected workbook so that we can try to reproduce and troubleshoot the problem.
Picture quality is determined by Office, Windows, and/or other software or hardware, not Macabacus. Macabacus uses native copy/paste methods to export cells and charts as pictures, so you should get the same result when you copy and paste as a picture natively as described above. Add-ins, in general, cannot improve picture quality. To resolve native picture quality issues, try changing your screen resolution, putting your Excel and PowerPoint/Word windows on the same display in multi-display set-ups, using the same screen resolution and system font scaling for all displays, and undocking docked workstations or ensuring that the screen resolution is correct when they are docked.
General > Import / Export section of the Settings dialog lets you specify a number of behavioral and formatting preferences. Note that some settings may impact export speed, which can be an important consideration when refreshing a large number of links.
A properly built spreadsheet will color code fonts to communicate the role and/or nature of cell contents (e.g., Macabacus' AutoColors). However, these colors usually have no place in your presentation materials and Word documents. With this option enabled, Macabacus recolors fonts in exported cells that use Recolor colors to your default font color (usually black) upon exporting, without affecting colors in the source workbook.
Exporting large cell ranges with this option enabled may noticeably slow the export operation.
When exporting cell ranges to Word, specifically, as a table object and the exported range contains merged cells, Macabacus cannot recolor fonts due to Word limitations.
The use of gridlines in Excel is a personal preference, but most would agree that they don't belong in presentation materials. This options hides gridlines in cells exported as a picture without affecting the visibility of gridlines in the source workbook.
Remove Outer Border
Remove any outer border on an exported Excel chart prior to pasting into PowerPoint and Word, without affecting the appearance of the chart in the source workbook.
Scale Chart Fonts
When exporting a chart from Excel to PowerPoint or Word as a chart object, and the pasted chart object is resized to match the size of a destination shape , you may observe that, while the chart itself is resized properly, data labels and other fonts on the chart appear too big or too small. If this occurs, enable this option to additionally scale font sizes to better conform to the resized chart. You can specify minimum and maximum font sizes for pasted chart objects for Macabacus to use when scaling fonts.
Check for Formula Errors
Scan cells being exported for formula errors (e.g., #DIV/0!). If any errors are found, Macabacus will notify you to help you avoid embarrassing mistakes in your PowerPoint and Word outputs. Disabling this option may improve link refresh performance.
When exporting a range/chart as a picture, you can specify whether you want the picture to resemble its display on screen, or appear as it will look when printed. In practice, there may be little or no visual difference between the two, but in general the "screen" option produces a higher quality visual result, albeit a bit more slowly. Speed can be an important consideration when refreshing links.
Macabacus uses the native
Copy as Picture method to create pictures when exporting, so this setting is actually a native setting described further in Microsoft's own documentation.
If you have multiple users refreshing the same links, ensure that they all use the same Copy Appearance setting to ensure consistent picture quality.
Switch to Target Application
When exporting ranges/charts from within Excel to PowerPoint or Word and this option is enabled, Macabacus will switch to the destination presentation or document upon export.
When exporting cells/charts to PowerPoint and no destination shape is selected, you can specify whether pasted objects are inserted at the center of the slide or at the top left corner of the slide.
When exporting cells/charts to Word and no destination shape is selected, you can specify whether you want the pasted object inserted in line with text or floated over text.
Quick Export allows you to export Excel ranges (cells) or charts to PowerPoint or Word using convenient keyboard shortcuts described below, or corresponding buttons on the Macabacus tab in the
Paste the selected Excel range or chart into the default target application, matching the width of any destination shape and scaling height to maintain a constant aspect ratio. If no destination shape is selected, the pasted object will be inserted at its original size.
Paste the selected Excel range or chart into the default target application, matching the height of any destination shape and scaling width to maintain a constant aspect ratio. If no destination shape is selected, the pasted object will be inserted at its original size.
Paste the selected Excel range or chart into the default target application, matching both the width and height of any destination shape. If no destination shape is selected, the pasted object will be inserted at its original size. This is generally not a good option when exporting cells and charts as pictures, because of the potential for image distortion.
Paste the selected Excel range or chart into the default target application, without matching dimensions of any destination shape, and instead inserting the pasted object at its original size.
Quick Export uses the following customizable default options to determine where and how to export your data:
- Export Cells As — Set Macabacus to export ranges as pictures (recommended), tables, or embedded workbooks by default.
- Export Chart As — Set Macabacus to export charts as pictures (recommended), charts, or embedded workbooks by default. Note that charts cannot be exported as embedded workbooks if the default target application is set to Word.
- Target Application — You can specify the default target application (PowerPoint or Word) so that if both PowerPoint presentations and Word documents are open when exporting from Excel, Macabacus knows to which application it should export cells and charts.
This documentation refers to the latest Macabacus version. Some features and descriptions of these features may not apply to older versions of Macabacus. Update your Macabacus software to take advantage of the latest features.