PowerPoint Chart Tips for Highlighting

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Find some useful tips to highlight certain portions of data driven PowerPoint Charts. Follow these tips to make your data slides remarkable.

Highlighting certain portions of a chart:

Sometimes you may find the need to highlight certain parts of your chart either to mark a significant event or to direct your audience attention to certain anomaly in the trend. There are many ways to achieve this. In this article, we will see some interesting options you can use in your next presentation.

Highlighting your chart manually:

One of the simplest ways to highlight a certain part of your chart is to use some design element like an ellipse or a silhouette as follows:

Clear PowerPoint Chart

You can add a relevant call out to make your point around the highlighted area.

Related: 2 tips for clarity in PowerPoint Charts

Another way is to double click on a certain data point and make your changes. For example, take a look at this line chart template:

PowerPoint Chart Tips Highlight We clicked on the data point for March. We then changed the line color and Dash type to highlight the dip.

Sometimes manually highlighting parts of a chart can be quite laborious or inaccurate. In such cases, it helps to highlight portions of a chart based on conditional formatting. Let us see some examples to understand the idea:

Using a combination chart to highlight a period:

In the following example we used an area chart to highlight a certain period. We can alter the area highlighted by changing the data in the accompanying worksheet:

Highlighting an Event Period Chart

Source: Before and After Event Charts from Visual Graphs Pack

Using variations of the same chart type:

You can highlight a certain event by using variations of the same chart type. For example, take a look at the following chart template:

 To highlight a certain month in a line chart we added another line chart with markers. We added error bars to make it easy to locate the data point.

You can even use two column charts to highlight a certain period. When you reduce the gaps in a column chart to zero you get a rectangular band. This comes in quite handy to highlight certain parts of a chart. Take a look at the following chart template:

Event Related PowerPoint Chart Tip

Source: Before and After Event Charts from Visual Graphs Pack

We used the band at the background to highlight a period. You can vary the width of the band by changing the corresponding data in the accompanying worksheet.

Thus by using simple tweaks you can create useful highlights to your charts and make your message memorable.

We hope you liked the PowerPoint chart tips shared in this article. If so, you can share the article or leave a comment below.

Related: Creative combination chart ideas


It takes a lot of skill, time and effort to create insightful charts from the scratch. If you are a busy presenter who doesn’t want to compromise on the quality of your charts, we have an elegant solution for you.We recommend you take a look at our ‘Visual PowerPoint Graphs Pack’.

All the chart templates you saw in this article are taken from the pack.

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