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3 empower charts

This chapter will detail the manner in which you insert and edit a chart in a presentation.

Please note: in order to guarantee that all functions of empower charts work without restrictions, please ensure that you save your presentations as an PPT or PPTX file format.

3.1 Inserting charts

All empower charts functions are accessed via the Insert tab in the PowerPoint® menu. If you also use empower you have the possibility to use empower charts directly from the empower menu.

To insert a chart, click on empower chart and select one of the available chart types.

If you have previously selected a placeholder on your slide, empower charts will insert the selected chart directly into the selected placeholder. To edit the chart – either its appearance or data – simply select the chart. An action bar will appear above the chart which will allow you to make the desired changes.

3.2 Editing chart data

3.2.1 Embedded Excel® table

Similar to editing a standard PowerPoint® chart, you can edit the data of the chart with the aid of an embedded Excel® table.

Click on the action point labeled Data in the action bar above the chart and then on Edit data.

The embedded Excel® table will open as you are used to from native PowerPoint® behavior. You can now edit, add and remove data, as well as select the corresponding sections. Alternatively, you can also instantly open the Excel® table by performing a double click on the chart in order to edit its contents.

3.2.2 Sort data

Regardless whether you access the data for your chart from an external Excel® source or not, you have the possibility to sort the data ascending or descending, as well as invert the sorting by clicking on the action point “Data” and then “Sort data”. The chart will automatically adapt accordingly.

3.3 external Excel® data

Apart from using embedded data empower charts also allows you to access external Excel® data sources. In order to do so, click the action point Data and then on Excel Link. A new dialog window will open in which you can select the desired Excel® file.


Click the drop-down menu title Excel file. Granted you already have multiple Excel® sheet opened, they will be displayed in this list. If you do not wish to include currently opened Excel® sheets or do not have any opened click on “(Browse…)” in the drop-down menu.

You can now select an appropriate Excel® sheet in the Window Explorer window that opened.


As soon as you have opened an Excel® sheet it will be positioned to the right. Now select the data sections you wish to include in the chart. Afterward click on “Select range” in order to select the data. As soon as you accept your settings with OK the chart will be linked with the Excel® table and display its data.

3.3.1 Automatic data updates after opening

If you have linked a chart with an external source of data you have the ability to set the chart to update its data once its presentation is opened (locally or from empower). Toggle the switch Refresh data automatically on open to either Yes or No accordingly.

3.3.2       Using relative paths

If you have linked a chart with an external data source you can set to use Relative Paths.

Instead of using an invariable path this setting will allow use of a relative path of the respective PowerPoint® and Excel® file. If you wish to send a PowerPoint® or Excel® file (the charts in the PPT are linked with the Excel® file) as an email attachment, their recipient is able to save these files to their local hard drive. Even though the connection to the chart refers to a path that is inaccessible to this recipient, a link to the Excel® data can be established via the relative path, provided the files are saved in a similar fashion. If, for example, the original files have been placed in the same folder, it is necessary that these files are also placed in the same folder when saved locally.

Please note: if you activate the function to use Relative paths you are required to ensure that the path of the Excel® file does not Change. 

3.3.3       Post hoc editing of external data sources

If you wish to change the link to the external data source, click on the action point “Edit link” in the Action Bar above the Chart.

Once you click on Open link source you may also directly open the lined file in order to change its data. If you use multiple Excel® links in your presentation, you can click on Excel Link in order to manage all links . This button is located on the top right of the empower charts section.


As soon as you have opened the Excel Link manager, you will see an overview of all Excel® files that are linked to charts in your presentation.

On the left is listed, on which slide the linked chart is located. The save location of the Excel® file is also specified, which you can open by simply clicking on the path. If you select multiple items you are able to update all charts at once, or delete their connection. On the right you have the possibility to activate or deactivate Refresh Data on Open as well as Use relative path.

In addition, you can change the original file of links for multiple connections all at once. To do so, select the respective link and click on Select new Excel® file. A window will open in which you can select the file chart is to be linked to.

3.4 Adapting Charts

3.4.1 Data labels

Click on Data Labels in the Action Bar in order to change properties as well as data values and Labels.


You now have the possibility to decide if you wish to display the column sums in the chart. You also are able to display value label by clicking on Show Value. If you wish to display the values as percentages, please toggle the respective switch. The drop-down menu below allows you to select the decimal place of the percentage.

Finally, you can display or hide the series name by toggling the switch. In order to maintain readability of data labels on a similar colored background, you can generate a transparent background for the labels by switching on Show data label background. You can always reset data labels to their original formatting by clicking “Reset Data Labels”. By default, the numeric format of the chart is based on the Excel® chart it is linked to. Using the respective drop-down menu, you can change the numeric format (e.g. to change from a European to an American radix format). You have the option to select predefined formats or create one of your own.


If you click on Custom Number Format a window will open in which you can select the desired format or define your own in the entry field provided. Here, you are also able to display a specific percentage of a chart. Finally, you are able to change the scaling of values in order to better display large numbers.

Clicking the Series button in the Action Bar allows you to either select the axis or type of each series of a chart. In the Axis section you are then able to set if the series is to orientate itself to the primary of the secondary axis. When using bar charts, you can also click Type to set if the data series is to be displayed as a line or a bar. This way a hybrid chart can be compiled using lines as well as bars.

3.4.3   Adapting text elements

To change the design of text elements in terms of caption or position, please select the desired element.

An overlay will appear in which font size and color may be adapted in accordance to corporate design. You can also select text formatting options such as bold, italics, and underlined. Multiple elements of data labels can be selected and edited simultaneously. To do so, select the desired elements while holding Ctrl.

If you wish to change the position of the element, move it via Drag & Drop. The position of data labels automatically adapts to its environment, e.g. when they would otherwise overlap. To deactivate this automation, you are able to move the data label via Drag & Drop while holding the Ctrl button on your keyboard in order to place the element to its desired location. In order to move data labels exclusively horizontally and vertically, hold the Shift key while moving the element to the desired location. 

You also have the option to add a prefix to the data labels of a chart. Click on a data label, and the click the Prefix button. You can now enter your prefix and then click OK. Should you wish to remove the prefix, you can do so by selecting one of the data labels and after clicking the prefix button select “Clear".

3.4.4 Changing chart elements

empower charts allows you to change chart colors of a series as well as of a single element while keeping in line with corporate design. To do so, select the desired element of a series and then click the Color button to select a color.

If the selected element is part of a series, all elements of this series will adapt automatically. If you wish to change just a single element, do so by selecting the element with a double click and then make the desired changes.

In addition, you can a shading to empower charts elements by selecting the element and clicking the Shading button. Now you can select a pattern.

3.5 Chart properties

3.5.1 Bar Width and Font Size

Click on Properties in the Action Bar in order to adjust bar width and font size.


Change the bar width by manipulating the slide bar. Below you have the possibility to change the font size in the same manner. To apply the same font size settings to all charts contained on the slide click Apply font size to all charts on slide.

3.5.2 Legend

In order to display a legend for your chart, click on Properties in the Action Bar and then on Show Legend.

Here you can choose if you want the legend to be inserted to the right, left, above or below the chart. Once you have selected a position, the legend will be inserted accordingly. A click on the legend allows you to adjust the design (font size, font color, etc.) for a uniform appearance. To remove the legend, simply open Properties and in Show Legend select “None”.

3.5.3 Manual edit mode

Once you are content with the design of your chart, you can still make manual changes at a later stage. To do so, activate Manual Edit Mode.

In doing so all empower charts functions are deactivated and you can now implement all manual changes to your chart.

Please note: some formatting may be lost in the process after you have deactivated Manual edit mode.

Manual Edit Mode should not be used for manipulation of the chart in normal use as almost all changes made so far will be reverted; more fundamental changes may lead to empower charts no longer working correctly for this chart.

In order to gain an overview of the different changes that occur when leaving Manual Edit Mode, it is necessary to distinguish between Gantt charts and data charts.

Gantt charts

After leaving Manual Edit Mode (almost) all changes made by the user are reverted.

Data charts

After leaving Manual Edit Mode all changes made by the user are reverted apart from the following exceptions:

  • Changes to color of data points (e.g. a section of a bar)
  • Changes to shading of data points
  • Any changes to the category axis
  • Changes to axis settings (the PPT axis will need to be inserted in manual mode, later the EC axis will need to be toggled on and off in charts mode)
  • Changes to gridlines in the chart

Additional shapes in the chart will not be removed; this also applies to chart title, axis title, data table, etc.

3.5.4 Configure axis

In Properties you can insert a primary axis (as well as a secondary axis). Once you have selected an axis, you can either scale it automatically, or enter a value manually for a minimum as well as a maximum for the axis scale.

In addition, you can adjust the text formatting of the axis labelling by clicking on the respective axis. You also have the possibility to change the scaling of the axis.

3.5.5 Same scaling and size for all charts

In order to aid comparison of charts on the same slide, it is possible to match the scaling and size of the charts. To do so, select a chart on the slide and click Properties. Afterward click Same Scale and Size for all Charts on Slide.

Subsequently, all scaling and sizes of the selected elements will be matched; the matching to height orients itself to the highest chart on the slide.

3.6 Chart features

3.6.1 Growth arrows

A growth arrow displays the growth between two data points. In order to set up a growth arrow, click on Lines in the Action Bar and select Growth Arrow. A further section will open in which you can select the desired data points. In addition, you can decide, which labelling type you prefer (percentage, absolute, or both) and if an ellipsis is to be placed around the value.

If you want to adjust the settings at a later stage, simply click on the growth arrow and click Edit. The same selection window will open in which you can change the growth arrow settings. If you wish to delete the growth arrow from your presentation, select the arrow and click the Delete button.

3.6.2 CAGR Arrow

A CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) arrow displays the annual average growth rate of the time period between two data points. To add a CAGR arrow click on Lines in the Action Bar and then select CAGR Arrow. A further window will open in which you can select the two data points. Similar to the growth arrow you can make changes or delete the CGR arrow by clicking on the element.

3.6.3 Delta line

The delta line shows the percentage or absolute difference between two data Points. To add a delta line, click on Lines in the Action Bar and select Delta Line.

Select the data points in the menu that opens. In addition, you can decide, which labelling type you prefer (percentage, absolute, or both). And if an ellipsis is to be placed around the value. In order to delete the delta line, simply select it and click the Delete button.

3.6.4 Value line

This feature displays a horizontal value line into your chart. In order to set up a value line, click on Lines in the Action Bar and select Value Line.

A further section will open in which you can select the desired data points. In addition, you can label the value line. To adjust or delete the value line, simply select it make the appropriate changes or click the Delete button to remove the line from the chart.

3.6.5 Show Connectors

This function allows you to add connecting lines between chart bars. To add the connectors, click on Lines in the Action Bar and activate the switch labelled Show Connectors.

3.6.6 Insert breaks

Breaks allow you to truncate data segments, e.g. to be able to better display smaller columns. To add breaks, click on Lines in the Action Bar and select Breaks. A further window will open in which you can set new breaks.

The width (the hidden value section) of the break can be adjusted manually.

Sometimes you may use data in a chart that differs strongly in size. This may result in columns with lower values to be displayed next to columns with a high value which can result in a confusing chart. Breaks can help to maintain readability.

Below is an example of a chart without a break:

This chart includes a break in one of its columns:

3.7 Converting native Office charts to empower charts

There is a possibility to convert a native PowerPoint® chart to an empower chart. To do so, select the chart you wish to convert, and click on empower chart, the same way you would when inserting an empower chart. Select the desired chart type, and the chart will convert accordingly.

If you have empower slides installed, you can also convert a chart by using the “Apply” function if an empower chart is saved in the chart templates folder of the library. To apply the format of an empower chart to a regular chart, simply select the chart on the slide, and the select the empower chart in the library folder. Now click Apply. In the settings you can also choose if size, position, as well as chart type should also be applied to the chart. The same method can be used to convert existing empower charts to other empower chart types. Please note that only charts that use a similar data structure in their underlying Excel® tables can be converted. A column chart, for example, can be converted to a stacked bar chart. A stacked column chart, however, cannot be converted to a waterfall chart.

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