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 within a Microsoft Word document. Different versions of Word support different methods for converting data in a Word table. We'll show you how to do it.

This guide applies to Word for Office 365, Word 2019, Word 2016, Word 2013, and Word 2010.

For Newer Versions of Word

While older versions of Word let you right-click within a table to automatically convert it into a graph, newer versions open a separate Excel tool. Here's how to use it:

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

  1. Create your 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. Go to Insert > Chart and pick from one of the offered templates.

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

    The Insert Chart window in Word with the OK button highlighted
  5. A separate Excel window will pop up. Paste your data into it. The chart will automatically update with the new information.

    A chart and a table in a Word document
  6. 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, you can use the Layout Options button to arrange it 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 press OK.

  3. Type or copy/paste the data into Excel 2010. If you don't have Excel 2010 installed, Microsoft Graph opens instead.