Charts with Picture Markers
You'd like to create a line chart that uses pictures instead of the standard markers that PowerPoint / MS Graph supply.
- Start by preparing the picture you want to use as a marker. It should be quite small. Choose Insert, Picture, From File to bring it into PowerPoint. Size and crop it right there on the slide, then choose Edit, Copy or press Ctrl+C. You could also copy the picture from any other program you like.
- Then create a line chart normally or doubleclick an existing line chart to activate it.
- Click the series you want to add picture markers to.
- Choose Edit, Paste or press Ctrl+V to paste the picture into the series as a picture marker.
Bingo. You now have pictures instead of boring old data markers.
Another approach suggested by PowerPoint MVP Shyam Pillai: Temporarily change the series type to Area Chart. Areas can have picture fills, so use your chosen picture to fill the area. When you change the chart type back to Line, the line will have picture markers.
The second method lets you bring the picture fill directly in from a file; you don't have to insert it into PowerPoint and copy it first.
On the other hand, if you copy/paste pictures, you can apply them as picture markers to individual data points (see below for an explanation).
For example, here's the original chart ...
And here's my finished example, ugly chart graced with lovely lady.
Notice that one of the lines has just one picture data marker. If you click the line first then click again on a data point, just the data point is selected and you can format it by itself, independent of the other points on the line.
Once you've added the picture data markers, it's not obvious how to get rid of them. Here, again thanks to Shyam, is the trick:
- Click the series line to select it, right-click and choose Chart Type.
- Change the series type to Area Chart temporarily
- Right-click the area and choose Format, then apply a solid color fill to replace the picture fill.
- Change the series type back to Line Chart
- The picture markers are now gone
If you've pasted a picture as a marker for an individual data point, you can remove it by selecting the series, choosing Format and applying a regular marker type to the series.
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