Recently, a subscriber asked me about how to put a table of data from Excel on a slide. You can do this in a couple of ways.
First, think about whether the data will be readable if it will be projected on a screen. Also consider whether the data lends itself to a graph, because graphs can be easier to understand. If you have too much data to fit on a slide, here are 2 options:
- Divide it up onto multiple slides
- Provide it as a handout, either printed or electronic
Copy into a PowerPoint table
PowerPoint’s tables offer you lots of options for design and layout. If you want the table to look polished, use this option. An easy way to start is with the Title & Content layout. Then click the Insert Table icon in the middle of the slide. You’ll see the small Insert Table dialog box.
Go back to your Excel data and count the number of columns and rows you need, including the row and/or column headers. This is also the time to select the table and copy it to the Clipboard. Then return to PowerPoint and complete the dialog box. Click OK to insert the table.
You now see a default table on the slide and the Table Tools Design and Layout tabs appear, as you see here.
Click in the upper-left cell and paste.
For a video tutorial on creating a table, see my earlier post, Create a table in PowerPoint. There you’ll see some ways of formatting the text and the table design.
Here is the table after formatting.
Copy and paste
If you’re in a rush and you don’t care how the table looks, you can simply copy and paste. In this situation, I would use the Title Only layout. Follow these steps:
- Select and copy the date in Excel.
- In PowerPoint, paste onto a slide.
- Resize and move the table to cover most of the slide.
- Select all of the content and resize the text — it’s always too small for projecting onto a screen
PowerPoint still creates a table but uses minimal formatting. You can change the formatting using the 2 Table Tools tabs. Here’s a simpler table that I created using this technique.
Do you have any additional table tips? Leave a comment!