Creating Charts and Graphs From Table Data

Charts and graphs help convey data visually to the reader

Woman and man looking at charts on two computer screens.

Tom Werner / Getty Images 

A graphical chart is a useful way to convey information visually in a Microsoft Word document. Different versions of Word support different methods for converting data in a Word table. Here's how to turn data in a table into a visually meaningful chart.

Instructions in this article apply to Word for Microsoft 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010.

For Newer Versions of Word

In older versions of Word, right-click a table to automatically convert it into a graph. In newer versions of Word, when you create a chart, a separate Excel tool appears. Here's how to use it:

If you have lots of data to chart, create the chart in Excel instead of making a Word table. If the chart needs regular updating, this is the best way to ensure it always reflects the latest numbers.

  1. Create the table in Word. Ensure the data cleanly lines up in rows and columns.

    A table in Word
  2. Highlight and copy the entire table.

  3. Place the cursor in the location where you want to insert the chart.

  4. Go to Insert > Chart and choose a chart template.

    The Chart option on the Insert tab in Word
  5. Select OK to add the chart to your document.

    The Insert Chart window in Word with the OK button highlighted
  6. In the Excel window that appears, paste your data. The chart automatically updates with the new information.

    A chart and a table in a Word document
  7. Modify the data as necessary to format the chart the way you want. When you're done, close the Excel window.

Once you've created your chart, select Layout Options to arrange the chart in your document.

For Word 2010

The process for creating a chart in Word 2010 is different than the one described above. Here's how to do it:

  1. Go to Insert > Illustrations > Chart.

  2. Select the type of chart you want and select OK.

  3. Type or copy the data into Excel 2010. If Excel 2010 is not installed, Microsoft Graph opens instead.