How to Insert a Chart in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

If you need to add visual data to your Word document, inserting a chart is the way to go. This guide will walk you through the simple steps to create and customize a chart in Microsoft Word. By the end, you’ll be able to present your data in a clear and visually appealing format.

How to Insert a Chart in Word

Ready to make your data pop? Follow these steps to insert a chart into your Word document:

Step 1: Open your Word document

Make sure your Word document is open and ready for editing.

Before inserting a chart, ensure your document is prepped and you know where you want the chart to go. This will save you time and help keep your document organized.

Step 2: Place your cursor where you want the chart

Click on the spot in your document where you want the chart to appear.

Placing your cursor in the correct spot ahead of time will make the process smoother. You won’t have to cut and paste your chart later.

Step 3: Go to the "Insert" tab

Navigate to the "Insert" tab at the top of the Word window.

The "Insert" tab contains all the tools you need for adding elements like charts, tables, pictures, and more. Familiarize yourself with this section for future tasks.

Step 4: Click on "Chart"

In the "Insert" tab, find and click on the "Chart" button.

Clicking on "Chart" will open up a new window with various chart types to choose from. This is where you can start customizing your chart.

Step 5: Select a chart type

Choose the type of chart you want from the available options, then click "OK."

There are many chart types like bar, pie, and line charts. Pick the one that best represents your data. More complex data might require a more detailed chart like a scatter plot or a histogram.

Step 6: Input your data in the Excel window

An Excel window will pop up. Enter your data into the cells.

Word uses Excel to handle chart data. This makes it easier to edit and update your data later. Make sure your data is accurate and formatted correctly.

Step 7: Close the Excel window

Once you’ve entered your data, close the Excel window. Your chart will appear in the Word document.

Closing the Excel window applies your data to the chart in Word. You can still make edits by reopening the Excel data sheet later if needed.

Step 8: Customize your chart

Use the Chart Tools to customize the appearance of your chart.

You can add titles, change colors, and adjust layout options using the Chart Tools that appear when your chart is selected. This helps make your chart more readable and visually appealing.

What happens next

After completing these steps, your chart will be embedded in your Word document. Now you can edit, move, and resize it as needed. Your data presentation will be much clearer and more engaging.

Tips for Inserting a Chart in Word

  • Choose the right chart type: Match your chart type to the kind of data you have for better clarity.
  • Label your axes: Make sure to label your chart axes to avoid any confusion.
  • Adjust the chart size: Resize the chart to fit neatly within your document’s layout.
  • Use contrasting colors: Select colors that make different data points stand out.
  • Update data easily: You can always double-click the chart to open the Excel window and update your data.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I edit the chart data after inserting it?

Double-click on the chart to reopen the Excel window where you can edit your data.

Can I change the chart type after it’s inserted?

Yes, select the chart, then go to the "Design" tab and choose "Change Chart Type."

How do I add a title to my chart?

Select your chart, then click on "Chart Tools" followed by "Add Chart Element" to add a title.

Can I move my chart to another part of the document?

Yes, click and drag the chart to move it around your document.

What if my chart doesn’t look right?

You can always go back into the Chart Tools to adjust elements like the layout, colors, and data ranges.

Summary of Steps

  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Place your cursor where you want the chart.
  3. Go to the "Insert" tab.
  4. Click on "Chart."
  5. Select a chart type.
  6. Input your data in the Excel window.
  7. Close the Excel window.
  8. Customize your chart.


Inserting a chart in Word is a straightforward process that can significantly enhance your document’s effectiveness. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be able to present complex data in a visually appealing way that’s easy for your audience to understand. Whether you’re preparing a report, a presentation, or a simple document, knowing how to insert and customize a chart in Word is a valuable skill.

Don’t forget to experiment with different chart types and customization options to find the best fit for your data. Practice makes perfect, so don’t be afraid to try out different features in the Chart Tools section. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to turn raw data into compelling visual stories.

If you’re looking for more tips and tricks on using Word efficiently, there are plenty of tutorials and resources available online. Happy charting!