Placing Excel graphs into InDesign

New Here ,
Apr 11, 2018

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Can someone please help me place an Excel graph into an InDesign document? I have tried dragging and dropping, copy paste, putting the graph into AI and making an AI file and doing the "Place" function of InDesign, making an EPS file in AI and doing the same, copy pasting from powerpoint, and no matter what i do, the text on my graph looks terrible. I have tried several different fonts, and have increased the dpi to the max quality. Thank you!

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Correct answer by Creamer Training | Adobe Community Professional

In Excel, move the chart to its own worksheet.

PDF the chart (Windows: use the Save As PDF function)

Place in ID.

If data updates, re-PDF the chart and replace of one with same name.

ID will update chart when open. (Watch out if the chart changes proportion.)

For output, rather than moving chart to AI for color conversion, do the following.

Laser: Just make a PDF; don't worry about the Excel colors--the laser printer will do fine with charts.

Offset Printing: Open PDF in Acrobat Pro and Convert Colors (under Print Production).

Set appropriate color conversion profile and check the Preserve Black and the Promote Gray to CMYK Black settings.

By the way, I believe the fancy 3D charts end up as bitmaps; use the standard chart layouts.

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Placing Excel graphs into InDesign

New Here ,
Apr 11, 2018

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Can someone please help me place an Excel graph into an InDesign document? I have tried dragging and dropping, copy paste, putting the graph into AI and making an AI file and doing the "Place" function of InDesign, making an EPS file in AI and doing the same, copy pasting from powerpoint, and no matter what i do, the text on my graph looks terrible. I have tried several different fonts, and have increased the dpi to the max quality. Thank you!

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Creamer Training | Adobe Community Professional

In Excel, move the chart to its own worksheet.

PDF the chart (Windows: use the Save As PDF function)

Place in ID.

If data updates, re-PDF the chart and replace of one with same name.

ID will update chart when open. (Watch out if the chart changes proportion.)

For output, rather than moving chart to AI for color conversion, do the following.

Laser: Just make a PDF; don't worry about the Excel colors--the laser printer will do fine with charts.

Offset Printing: Open PDF in Acrobat Pro and Convert Colors (under Print Production).

Set appropriate color conversion profile and check the Preserve Black and the Promote Gray to CMYK Black settings.

By the way, I believe the fancy 3D charts end up as bitmaps; use the standard chart layouts.

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Apr 11, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2018

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In Excel, move the chart to its own worksheet.

PDF the chart (Windows: use the Save As PDF function)

Place in ID.

If data updates, re-PDF the chart and replace of one with same name.

ID will update chart when open. (Watch out if the chart changes proportion.)

For output, rather than moving chart to AI for color conversion, do the following.

Laser: Just make a PDF; don't worry about the Excel colors--the laser printer will do fine with charts.

Offset Printing: Open PDF in Acrobat Pro and Convert Colors (under Print Production).

Set appropriate color conversion profile and check the Preserve Black and the Promote Gray to CMYK Black settings.

By the way, I believe the fancy 3D charts end up as bitmaps; use the standard chart layouts.

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Apr 11, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2018

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You can also choose File > Place and place an Excel worksheet.

If you want it to be linked so the updates can be made in Excel, there are a few more steps. Otherwise it comes in as a table.

You might want to do it this way:

  • File > Place
  • Select the Excel file
  • Shift + Click Open to bring up Options so you can choose formatted table, unformatted table, text with tabs, etc.

If you have an insertion point, it goes into the existing text. If not, it creates its own frame.

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Apr 11, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2018

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I think the OP wanted the graph from Excel, not the Excel file as a table.

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Apr 11, 2018 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Apr 11, 2018

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Right…and FWIW, I’ve found that as long as you keep the charts simple, copy/paste works well…at least on Windows.

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Apr 11, 2018 1
New Here ,
May 20, 2018

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Did you decide that your graph looks terrible on the basis of what you see in InDesign? It often doesn't display these at full resolution. Before you decide that it really looks terrible, try exporting your document to a PDF and examine that. There's a good chance that it will look fine. In that case, treat the low-resolution ID display as "FPO" (For Positioning Only).

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May 20, 2018 1
Adobe Employee ,
May 22, 2018

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Hi Rebecca,

I would like to know if the above mentioned suggestions helped you, or the issue still persists.

Kindly update the discussion if you need further assistance with it.

Thanks,

Srishti

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May 22, 2018 0
New Here ,
Oct 25, 2020

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Hey, 

I found that the easiest was copying the chart to illustrator - which converts it to vector (but with a ton of clipping masks). From there, i copied only the shapes I wanted to a new layer, changed the formatting etc, and pasted it onto indesign.

 

ps. The export to pdf and placing it option didn't work out for me. 

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Oct 25, 2020 0
New Here ,
Nov 25, 2020

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I've used an excel file with "input data" sheets and macros to generate tons of pie charts and bar charts on separate tabs. Then done we had a button with a macro to generate a multi-page pdf. That pdf was placed in Indesign. Every time we had to update the data we just generated a new pdf in Excel and updated the link in Indesign.

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Nov 25, 2020 0