Pasting Data into an Excel Chart

One of the hardest Excel features to master is charts and graphs, which aren’t always so user-friendly.

That “Select Data Source” dialogue box is so sensitive that it could drive you crazy!


Select Data Source: a common source of frustration when working with Excel charts.


Turns out there is a way to add data to a chart without using that dialogue box.

In our example, we have graphed data from Q1-Q3 and want to add Q4.

Did you know you can simply copy and paste the data you want graphed into your chart and it will update?



How it works:

1. Select the range of data (including labels) you would like to add to your graph.

2. Ctrl + C to copy range.

3. Click anywhere on chart.

4. Ctrl + V to paste.

5. Your graph is updated! No dialogue box required.

Download the exercise file here. 

h/t to Excel TV’s new course on data visualization for teaching me this trick.


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  1. I prefer to use paste special. This displays a few options for the paste, which regular paste usually but not always gets right.

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