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Insert Excel Charts in Access

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/26/2009

Access makes it easy to create a chart based on data in a form or report. However, you might have an existing Excel chart you want to use with your Access form. This article will show you a simple way to insert an existing Excel chart into Access.

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    More Access Chart Options

    In the article How to Create a Chart in Microsoft Access, we covered the necessary steps to make a new chart in an Access form or report. If you prefer making charts in Excel, though, or already have the specific chart you need for your Access form, you can simply insert that chart. Begin by opening the Access form or report in Design view. If you are using Access 2007, open the form or report and then click the View drop down arrow, which is at the left end of the Home tab. Select Design View from the view drop down menu.

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    If you are using Access 2003 or earlier, open the form or report and go to the View menu of the toolbar. Select Design View.

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    In Access 2007, click on the Design tab of the ribbon. Click on the Unbound Object Frame button in the Controls group. This button looks like a picture of a cactus and sunshine, without lettering above it.

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    Click the Unbound Object Frame button from the Toolbox in Access 2003 or earlier. If the toolbox does not appear on your toolbar, go to the View menu and select Toolbox. It will appear as a floating toolbar. To add it permanently to your toolbar, click on the title bar area of the toolbox and drag it to your toolbar to insert it there.

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    Once you have selected the Unbound Object Frame, click on your form or report where you want to insert the existing Excel chart. The Insert Object dialog box will open. Select Create from File and click the Browse button to find the Excel worksheet containing the chart you want to insert into your Access file.

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    Before you insert the chart, you have some other options. By selecting the Link checkbox, the Excel chart will be available via a hyperlink in the Access form or report. If you want to display the Excel chart as an icon rather than an embedded chart, select the Icon checkbox. When you have selected your desired options, click OK to insert the chart and apply any changes.

    Article Image If you do want to create your chart in Excel first and need some help getting started, be sure to take a look at the collection of Excel charts and graphs tutorials here at Bright Hub. Also, take a look at the other items in Bright Hub's library of Microsoft Access user guides for more database tips and tricks.