I have a Microsoft Word 2016 document containing editable charts created in an Microsoft Excel 2016 spreadsheet on a Windows 7 PC. Both of these files were created by a contact in another organisation. I do not have the Excel spreadsheet.

I need to copy the charts from the Word document, however, my system freezes when I try this. I'm unable to copy and paste the chart.

I believe the charts contain a large amount of data. I assume that the best approach would be to copy the chart again from the Excel spreadsheet and paste as a picture into the Word document, but I don't have access to the spreadsheet. Is there another way that I can get around this problem?

It's a recurring problem involving multiple correspondents sending us Word documents containing Excel charts with editable data. We would need to educate them by either asking them to paste charts as a picture or to send us the Excel spreadsheet. But we also need a workaround so that we can resolve this issue independently.


There is a much easier way to do this. Use the snipping tool to make a png of the chart that you want and insert it as an image in your word document.

5 Ways to Open Snipping Tool in Windows 10

How to Insert a Picture in Your Text in Word 2016

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Excel and Word files are zip files that contain a file structure of xml files. The embedded Excel charts can be extracted from the Word file and put into an Excel file, where it is hopefully easier to use them.

First, make a copy of the Word file, and rename the extension from .docx to .zip

Extract the .zip. You'll see a file structure with the following folders:

  • _rels
  • charts
  • theme

In charts, chart1.xml will contain the detail of chart 1. Open it and look for cell reference sections like


Delete those; the data used for the chart should be in the rest of the file.

Now, make a blank Excel file. Put some dummy data in it, make a chart from it (maybe make the chart its own sheet) and save the file. Rename the extension from .xlsx to .zip and extract it.

Copy the data from the charts folder in the Word charts folder over the data in the Excel charts folder.

Then select everything in the Excel folder, zip it, and rename to .xlsx.

When you open this new file in Excel, the dummy chart you made previously should have the data from the Word chart that you copied in.

Now hopefully you can edit the formatting, and copy it out as an image.

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