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How To: Insert an Excel chart into ArcMap


Instructions provided include steps for inserting an Excel chart into ArcMap, while maintaining a live link between them. Any changes made to the Excel chart are automatically updated in ArcMap.


  1. Open the Excel file containing the chart to add.
  2. Click the Chart Area. Eight resizing blocks called handles appear around the Chart Area. Leave Excel open and the chart selected.
  3. Open ArcMap, and click Layout View to switch to the layout view.
  4. Navigate to Insert > Object. In the Insert Object dialog box, select Create from file. Click Browse to go to the location of the Excel file and select it.
  5. Check the Link check box, and click OK. The Excel chart is added to the layout.
In some instances, the added object may not display the full chart of the linked Excel file. If this occurs, open the linked Excel file, and click Save. As a second option, close the Excel file, and double-click the chart in the layout view. Both procedures reload the full chart in the layout view. 
Save any changes made to the Excel chart. Not saving the changes disrupts the link to the map document.

To make future edits to the Excel chart that are reflected in the ArcMap layout, double-click the chart object in ArcMap, make the edits and save. If edits are made in Excel, with ArcMap closed, the chart objects must still be double-clicked in ArcMap to open it and register the changes.

If the chart is modified in Excel and it loses sizing or assigned placement assigned before the modification, resize the chart in ArcMap.

Related Information

Last Published: 10/15/2020

Article ID: 000004382

Software: ArcMap 10.8.1, 10.8, 10.7.1, 10.7, 10.6.1, 10.6, 10.5.1, 10.5, 10.4.1, 10.4, 10.3.1, 10.3, 10.2.2, 10.2.1, 10.2, 10.1, 10