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12/29/2014

How to save Excel chart as image (png, jpg, bmp), copy to Word & PowerPoint

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How to save Excel chart as image, copy or export it to Word &


PowerPoint

27

by Alexander Frolov

Excel, Excel charts, Excel tips

17 Comments

In this article you will learn how to save your Excel chart as an image (.png, .jpg, .bmp etc. ) or export it to another
file such as a Word document or PowerPoint presentation.
Microsoft Excel is one of the most powerful tools for data analysis that provides plenty of features and
special options to visualize your data. Charts (or graphs) is one of such options and creating a chart in Excel
is as easy as selecting your data and clicking an appropriate chart icon.
But what has strengths usually has it weaknesses. The weak point of Excel charts is the lack of an option to
save them as images or to export to another file. It would be really nice if we could simply right-click a graph
and see something like "Save as image" or "Export to". But since Microsoft did not bother to create such
features for us, we'll figure something out on our own :)
In this article I will show you 4 ways of saving an Excel chart as an image, so that you can insert it in other
Office applications like Word and PowerPoint, or use to create some nice infographics:
Copy a chart to a graphics program and save as an image
Export an Excel chart to Word and PowerPoint
Save all charts in an Excel workbook as images
Save a chart as a picture using a VBA macro

Copy a chart to a graphics program and save as picture


A friend of mine told me once how she usually copies her Excel charts to Paint. What she does is create a
chart and click PrintScreen, then open Paint and pastes the image of the entire screen. After that she crops
the redundant screen areas and saves the remaining part to a file. If you do it this way too, forget about it
and never use this childish method again! There is a quicker and smarter way :-)
As an example, I created a nice 3-D Pie graph in my Excel 2010 that visually represents the demographics of
our web site's visitors and now I want to export this Excel chart as image. What we do is as follows:
1. Right-click somewhere on the chart border and click Copy. Do not place the cursor within the chart; this
may select individual elements rather than the whole graph and you won't see the Copy command.

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2. Open Paint and paste the chart by clicking the Paste icon on the Home tab or pressing Ctrl+V:

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3. Now all that is left to do is save your chart as an image file. Click the "Save as" button and choose from
available formats (.png, .jpg, .bmp and .gif). For more options, click the "Other formats" button at the end of
the list.

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How to save Excel chart as image (png, jpg, bmp), copy to Word & PowerPoint

It is that simple! In a similar fashion you can save your Excel chart to any other graphics painting program.

Export an Excel chart to Word and PowerPoint


If you need to export an Excel chart to some other Office application such as Word, PowerPoint or even
Outlook, the best way is to paste it directly from the clipboard:
1. Copy your chart as described in step 1 above.
2. Click in your Word document or PowerPoint presentation where you want to paste the chart and press
CTRL+V. Instead of CTRL+V, you can right-click anywhere in the file and you will see a handful of additional
Paste Options to choose from:

The main advantage of this method is that it allows you to export a fully-functional Excel chart to another
file, rather than a mere image. The graph will retain the connection with the original Excel worksheet and
refresh automatically whenever your Excel data are updated. In this way, you won't need to re-copy the
chart with each data change.

Save a chart to Word and PowerPoint as image


In Office 2007, 2010 and 2013 applications, you can also copy an Excel chart as an image. In this case, it will

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behave as a usual picture and won't update. For example, let's export our Excel chart to a Word 2010
document.
1. Copy the chart from your Excel workbook, switch to your Word document, place the cursor where you
want to inset the graph, and then click on a tiny black arrow at the bottom of the Paste button residing on
the Home tab:

2. You will see the "Paste Special..." button as shown in the screenshot above. Clicking it will open the Paste
Special dialog and you will see a number of available image formats including Bitmap, GIF, PNG and JPEG.

3. Choose one of the formats and click OK.


Probably the Paste Special option is available in earlier Office versions as well, but I haven't used them for
quite a while, that is why cannot state with certainty :)

Save all charts in an Excel workbook as images


The methods we have discussed so far work well if you have one or a couple of charts. But what if you need
to copy all charts in the entire Excel workbook? It would take quite a lot of time to copy / paste them
individually. Good news is that you needn't do that! Here's how you can save all charts in a workbook at
once:
1. When all of your charts are ready, switch to the File tab and click the Save As button.
2. The Save As dialog will open and you choose Web Page (*.htm;*html) under "Save as type". Also, make sure
the "Entire Workbook" radio button next to Save is selected, as shown in the screenshot:

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3. Choose the destination folder where you want to save your files and click the Save button.
The .png images of all charts will be copied to that folder along with html files. The next screenshot shows
the content of the folder where I saved my workbook. The book contains 3 worksheets with a graph in each
and as you can see, all the three .png images are in place!

As you know, PNG is one of the best image-compression formats without any loss of picture quality. If you
prefer some other formats for your pictures, you can easily convert them to .jpg, .gif, .bmp etc.

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How to save Excel chart as image (png, jpg, bmp), copy to Word & PowerPoint

Save a chart as image using a VBA macro


If you need to export your Excel charts as pictures on a regular basis, you can automate this work using a
VBA macro. The best part is that a variety of such macros already exist, so there is no need to reinvent the
wheel :)
For instance, you can use the tried-and-true solution published by Jon Peltier on his blog. The macro is as
simple as this:
ActiveChart.Export "D:\My Charts\SpecialChart.png"
This line of code lets you export the selected chart as a .png image to the specified folder. Even if you have
never written a single macro before, you can create your first one right now in 4 easy steps.
Before you take on the macro, create a folder where you want to export the chart. In our case, it is My
Charts folder on disk D. Well, all preparations are done, let's take on the macro.
1. In your Excel workbook, switch to the Developer tab and click on the Marcos icon in the Code group.

Note! If this is the first time you are creating a macro, most likely the Developer tab won't be visible in your
workbook. In this case, switch to the File tab, click Options > Customize Ribbon. In the right hand part of the
window, in the Main Tabs list, select Developer, and then click OK.
2. Give your macro a name, for example SaveSelectedChartAsImage and choose to enable it in your current
workbook only:

2. Click the Create button and you will have the Visual Basic Editor open with the outlines of a new macro
already written for you. Copy the following macro in the second line:
ActiveChart.Export "D:\My Charts\SpecialChart.png"

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3. Close the Visual Basic Editor and click the Save As button on the File tab. Choose to save your workbook as
Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook (*.xlsm). And that's all, you did it! :)
Now let's run the newly created macro to see how it works. Oh wait... there's one more thing for you to do.
You should select the Excel chart that you want to export because as you remember, our macro copies only
the active chart. Click anywhere on the chart's border and if you see a light gray border surrounding it, then
you did it correctly and your entire graph is selected:

Switch to the Developer tab again and click on the Macros icon. This will open a list of macros in your
workbook. All you need to do is to select SaveSelectedChartAsImage and click the Run button:

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Now open your destination folder and check if the .png image of your chart is there. In a similar way you can
save a picture in other formats. In your macro, you will just need to replace .png with .jpg or .gif like this:
ActiveChart.Export "D:\My Charts\SpecialChart.jpg"
That's all for today, hope you find the information helpful. Thanks for reading!

See also
Microsoft Excel Charts: Tips, Tricks and Techniques
Merge two Excel worksheets by matching data
Combine Excel sheets with the same name into one

Want to find more inventive tips, tricks and tutorials?


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17 Responses to "How to save Excel chart as image, copy or


export it to Word & PowerPoint"
1.

kumarapush says:
March 4, 2014 at 7:58 am
That is a very detailed explanation about Converting chart to Image file. Here is another similar
additional reference for you on how this option is used in an Print screen Automation. Though this
might be useful to enhance your topic.
http://officetricks.com/print-screen-save-as-image-file-attach-to-sheet-automate-in-vba/
Reply

2.

Lukas says:
March 4, 2014 at 8:34 pm
The solution with the macro works very well. However, do you have a way to add the increment in the
destination name to be able to save many files one after each other and not having them saving over
the last one.
Reply

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How to save Excel chart as image (png, jpg, bmp), copy to Word & PowerPoint
Alexander says:
March 5, 2014 at 11:37 am
Hi Lukas,
We do not have a ready-to-use macro. But I think it won't be a big problem to write one.
Please specify whether you need to save several charts from one worksheet during one session (i.e.
without closing the workbook) or do you need a general solution? The former will be pretty easy
while the latter might be challenging.
Reply
3.

Brilliant Minds says:


March 22, 2014 at 10:31 am
So like one of the methods totally worked. Been preparing for IGCSE ICT and all. Thank you so much.
Reply

4.

Luis Torres says:


May 14, 2014 at 2:30 am
Is there a way to then revert from a picture/image file (let's say *.jpg) and import/back to excel? Thanks!
Reply
Alexander says:
May 14, 2014 at 10:52 am
You can do this using some OCR program. Nearly all of them can scan and recognize .jpg, .png and
other images. If this does not work, then you will need to print out the picture and scan it.
Reply
Luis Torres says:
May 15, 2014 at 2:40 am
Thanks Alexander!
Reply

5.

kyle says:
May 19, 2014 at 2:04 pm
I have the same question as lucas, I export my file, but is there a way to increment the file name so it
does not save over the prior one?
Reply
Alexander says:
May 19, 2014 at 2:36 pm
Hello Kyle,
I have to ask the same question that I asked of Lucas earlier. Please let me know whether you need
to save several charts from one worksheet during one session (i.e. without closing the workbook) or
do you need a general solution?
Reply

6.

Mahdan says:
August 9, 2014 at 12:40 am
Usefull!
Reply

7.

stone says:
September 18, 2014 at 12:20 am
Great! thanks.
Reply

8.

mischiefhat says:
October 17, 2014 at 3:58 am
Thanks a lot. This helped me.
Reply

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How to save Excel chart as image (png, jpg, bmp), copy to Word & PowerPoint
9.

Sithara says:
November 13, 2014 at 2:38 am
Thank you very much for this. Was very useful to me.
Reply

10.

Ayoola says:
November 20, 2014 at 6:57 pm
Hi,
I love this tutorial but what I wish to achieve is to print current selection of cells and not just a graph.
Kindly suggest.
Reply
Alexander says:
November 28, 2014 at 1:41 pm
Hi Ayoola,
Thank you for your feedback. To fulfill your task, please open the worksheet, press the PrintScreen
button on the keyboard. Then open any Image Editor, e.g. Paint, press Ctrl + V to paste the image
from the clipboard and then crop it leaving only the necessary part of the screenshot.
Reply

11.

S.Karthikeyan says:
December 3, 2014 at 3:57 pm
Thanks a lot.
S.Karthikeyan
Reply

12.

John says:
December 5, 2014 at 2:25 am
Is there a way to make the "picture" graph look a lot sharper? It doesn't look as good as if you copy and
paste from Excel to Word.
Reply

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