The problem with copied Excel charts and data

Copper Contributor

I often customise a chart, then copy both chart and data to another area ready for new data. I then amend the copied data, e.g. to show sales of a different business. If you do this too, you will encounter a problem…

What you expect: The copied chart should be linked to the copied data – this is logical but not what actually happens.

What you get: The copied chart is linked to the original data so doesn’t change when you amend the copied data. The selected data for the copied chart must be manually edited. This is a pain.

And when you do that, you may well notice a second problem…

If you have edited the original chart e.g., changed line colours, added customised markers and data labels, these are mostly lost when you amend the data source in the copied chart.

The workaround

You can copy the entire sheet, then cut and paste the graph on the copied sheet back to the original sheet, but this is inefficient. You may also have to edit the axis labels e.g., for years if these were linked to a row at the top of your (copied) worksheet.

The proper solution

Dear Excel development team at Microsoft… will you please fix this?


PS I am using a laptop with Windows 10 and Excel 365

2 Replies

any updates on this?

I've been wondering this for EVER, and thought it was just some secret handshake I didn't know about - one of those Excel "AHA!!!" things.

Would be very interested to know if Microsoft has an update on this