Say hello to the newly improved Excel to PowerPoint Link

  • 6 min
  • Product Updates
  • By Simone Lilley, 17/06/2020

Saving our users over 170,000 hours a year, the Link is undoubtedly one of the UpSlide family’s most loved features.

If you’re not already familiar with the Excel to PowerPoint/Word Link, it enables users to link their charts, tables, and even text, seamlessly from their Excel Workbooks to their PowerPoint reports and presentations. When the source data changes, the presentation can be updated at the click of a button.

In this latest update, we’ve introduced 4 new advanced options, created based on user feedback, to improve your control over how the Link works:

1. Highlight links

This feature helps you save time and guarantees better compliance. Previously, there was no obvious way to identify which elements in an Excel sheet had been linked to a PowerPoint or Word document, making it difficult to prevent changes being made to the workbook, which could potentially affect linked content in the presentation.

You’ll find the new ‘Highlight Links’ button to the right of your standard Link buttons, in the UpSlide ribbon in Excel.

Simply clicking on this button will highlight any cells, tables or charts that have been linked to PowerPoint or Word:

2. Go to last export/update

Our Link feature is designed to help you work more efficiently – so the last thing we want is for you to waste time figuring out which presentation or report it was that you last linked your table or chart to.

Thanks to the new ‘Go to last export/update’ option, you can now identify and open the PowerPoint or Word document into which you last exported your chart or table, right from your Excel Workbook.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Right-click on a linked table or chart in Excel
  2. Select the “Go to last export” option
  3. The most recently linked or updated file will appear in an instant!

3. Preserve cells’ current visibility

Ever used the Link to export a table with hidden rows or columns? It can be a pain having to remember to re-hide those, whenever you need to update the linked table in your PowerPoint or Word file.

For this reason, we’ve added a new option allowing you to preserve the cell visibility settings of your linked tables! From now on, if you choose to select this option when exporting your table, subsequently unhiding those rows or columns in your linked Excel table won’t change what’s visible in PowerPoint/Word – even when you hit ‘update’.

Top tip!
This means that you can now link one table, multiple times to one or more documents, each time applying a different filter or hiding different rows or columns.

Do you have one table displaying all of your global sales figures, but need to create a separate sales report to each business unit? No problem! Simply hide the irrelevant columns or rows so you’re only displaying the figures you need, and select ‘preserve current cells’ visibility’ when exporting to your presentation. Repeat the same process for each business unit, as many times as you need to! As you can see in this diagram, this will save you lots of time when it comes to reporting:

Here’s how you can use this feature:

  1. Edit which columns/rows you want visible
  2. Select the table
  3. Click on “Advanced Export” (right next to your usual ‘Export to PowerPoint/Word’ buttons on your UpSlide ribbon in Excel
  4. Toggle the new “Preserve current cells visibility” button in the Advanced Export pop-up
  5. Click “Ok” and your table will be exported
  6. The cell visibility from your initial Link will be preserved when you update, even if you change cell visibility in Excel!

4. Preserve image width in PowerPoint/Word

As you know, using the UpSlide Link preserves the width of your linked table or chart when you update it, but what about when you’ve added more columns since you initially exported them? Having the image width being preserved can cause the text in these tables to shrink when you hit ‘update’, which will render your table no longer compliant with your brand guidelines (not to mention being hard to read!).

Thanks to our final new Link function, this will no longer be an issue; you can now decide whether or not you want the width of your linked tables to be preserved when you update them in PowerPoint or Word. If you chose not to, your tables will expand beyond the original placeholder width to prevent your text shrinking. Just make sure you have space in your presentation for the linked image to expand to the right!

See for yourself:

To take advantage of this feature:

  1. Select the table you want to export
  2. Click on “Advanced Export”
  3. Toggle the new “Preserve width in Powerpoint/Word” button in the Advanced Export pop-up
  4. Click “Ok” and your table will be exported
  5. If you’ve switched off the “Preserve width” function, any subsequent update will also update the width of your table if you have increased its size (and thus preserve the font size of your text)!

We are continuously improving UpSlide based on your feedback, and according to Link users at our recent webinar, these recent updates to the Link could save you 10+ hours a month:

Estimated time saved with the Link alone, per month (with new functionality):

If you want to see a demonstration of these new features, simply register to watch the replay of the Discover the Improved Excel > PowerPoint Link Webinar.

We hope you enjoy the new and improved Link functionality and we can’t wait to hear what you think!

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