How to Insert a Graph in Microsoft Word

By Filonia LeChat

Microsoft Word is usually the destination for Office Suite users who are looking to create word processing documents, but one of Word's other Suite partners -- Excel -- is often the choice for creating graphs. Due to Word and Excel's compatibility, however, you're able to insert graphs into Word documents without ever leaving the Word software. Through a special Excel pop-up window, you can configure graphs within Word.

Step 1

Open Microsoft Word. To insert a graph into an existing document, click the "File" tab, click "Open," browse to the name of the file and double-click it. Scroll to the place within the document to insert the graph. Otherwise, Word has started a new blank document for you.

Step 2

Click the "Insert" tab at the top of the screen. Click the "Chart" button in the middle of the ribbon below the tab.

Step 3

Scroll to the type of graph, such as a bar chart. Double-click that graph's button. After a few moments, Word inserts a generic graph on the screen -- you may have to move the new "Chart in Microsoft Word -- Microsoft Excel" window to see it -- and a new green "Chart Tools" tab at the top of the workspace. If you're using two monitors, drag the Excel window onto the second monitor.

Step 4

Type into the cells of the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to change the appearance of the graph instantly. For example, instead of Excel's "Series 1, 2, 3" as headers, type days of the week to chart. Type into the number boxes on the spreadsheet's cells to change the appearance of the chart itself. After completing the changes to the graph, click the "X" to close the Excel window. The chart is inserted.

Step 5

Use the "Chart Tools" tab at the top of the screen to make additional changes to the graph, such as its colors, type of graph and its appearance. Remove objects from the graph, such as the legend, by clicking once on the box and pressing the "Delete" key.

Tips & Warnings

  • Not all of this configuration is necessary when inserting a graph into Microsoft Word. You can simply insert the graph as in the first part of these instructions without any customization, just use the generic graph as an illustration or image within the document. To do so, simply insert the graph, then close the Excel window.