MacMost Now 881: Linking Charts From Numbers To Pages

You can create a chart in Numbers and then copy and paste it into a Pages or Keynote document. When you do so, the chart is linked and changes to the chart data in Numbers can be synced to your Pages or Keynote document. However, only data can be updated. Labels and the table itself cannot sync between apps, though copy and paste is a decent work-around.

Video Transcript
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let me show you how to use Linked Charts between Numbers and Pages and Keynote.

Starting in Numbers here let's create a very simple table and then create a chart from it. So I'm just going to enter in some sample data here. Let's shrink this table down to size so it is nice and neat. Then let's create a pie chart from it. I'll simply select the entire table and I'll create a simple pie chart. There we go. We've got a chart that represents the simple table that I created.

Now here is a very important step. This is an untitled, unsaved document. We need to save it in order for this to work. So we'll just quickly save it here under Documents.

Now if we want to put this pie chart here in a Pages document I would select it and then simply copy it. Then I would switch to Pages where I'm already working on another document here. I can paste it in, inline here into the text or if this was a layout document I could paste it in as a separate element. We'll just paste in it here inline with the text.

You can see it carried over everything from Numbers. I've got the same chart in both.

Now let's see what happens when I update one. So to make things a little easier to see I am going to shrink the Numbers document here, the window, so that I can see both Numbers over here and Pages over here.

So let's go into the table here and change the number of bananas to fifteen. You can see it changes here. It doesn't yet change here. Here is what we need to do over here.

We click on it here and we see this special kind of menu popup here where I can hit this Update button and you can see that it updates it with the new data. So it doesn't do it automatically, it doesn't know to check for changes but you will get this special menu and be able to update.

You also get an Unlink button if say I wanted to unlink it so that changes over here could never be update again in this chart here.

It is more than just numerical data that can be updated. For instance I could change some of the text here. I could change what the chart is called. When I go over here and apply Update you can see it updated the one thing, from pears to peaches, it got that. But it didn't treat this as being linked with this. So you have to be careful on exactly what gets updated. It is really the data that gets updated. Not necessarily some of the things like the chart title.

You can see here also there is another thing that you should know about. You can pull this open and closed whether or not you even want to see the unlink button.

Now another thing you should know about in Pages here if I bring up the Inspector and then I go to the Chart Inspector, I go to Edit Data I can update the data here and you can see that it did update in the chart there. But it won't go backwards. I won't update over there. If I actually hit this Sync button you can see it actually changes it back to match what is in Numbers.

So you can kind of temporarily change the data if you want to in Pages but as long as they are still linked you can then revert to what you have in Numbers.

Now this also works between Numbers and Keynote. So I can select the chart here and then go to Keynote where I have a new document open. I can paste it in there and you can see I get the same Update button right here so I can switch back to Numbers, change something here, and then I can go back over here, Update and you can see it updates. So the same linking happens between Numbers and Keynote.

What is kind of disappointing is that it doesn't work for Tables. It only works for Charts. So I can select this table here, copy it, go over here to Pages, and paste in the chart. You can see that it works to copy everything over from it. So it is great that I can copy and paste from Numbers into Pages BUT there is no Update button. There is no way to update this. It is no longer linked between the two. I can update this independently from that and that's fine. I can delete this and copy and paste again to update but there is no link button like you get in Charts.

So it would be nice if at some point Apple can implement the linking of Tables between Numbers and Pages, and Numbers and Keynote. But for now it's only Charts.

Hope you found this useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 2 Responses to “MacMost Now 881: Linking Charts From Numbers To Pages”

    Susanne Maron
    6 years ago

    great help to all three 883,882, 881 , all is new to me , wonderful I am keen to learn

    Jose Osorio
    6 years ago

    Hi Gary, excellent tip as usual. I don’t know if this happened only to me, but this tip only works (in my mac) if the numbers file is saved locally. If it is in the cloud, it does not show the update option.


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