Merge Data from Excel to PowerPoint

Looking for an easy way to create a PowerPoint presentation from Excel? This method works great to merge data from Excel to PowerPoint. It’s a simple way to create flashcards, award certificates, project reports, any kind of presentation where you want to create multiple slides with the same kind of information on each.

I also talk about using the Master Slide View to create your own PPT themes and formatting.

Watch the video to learn how to Merge Data from Excel to PowerPoint

Step by Step: Merge Data from Excel to PowerPoint

1. Create an Excel document and create your headings. Then add data in each category. For example:

English WordRussian WordSentence
personчеловекHe is a good person.
childребенокLook at that cute child.

2. Save and close your Excel file. Put MERGE in the file name so you don’t get confused about that file’s function.

Mail Merge to Word

3. Open a Word Doc. Go to Mailings->Select recipients->Use existing list and browse till you find your MERGE Excel file.

4. Now click on Insert Mailing Fields and place your category names in the order you want them to appear.

5. You need to give each data category a Heading Style by going to Home->Styles. If you give a data category the status of H1, it will become the title of a new slide. Use the same Heading style for text you want to format the same way in PowerPoint.

6. You can also add static text that will appear on every slide. If you want each slide to have the title Flash Cards, type it above your data categories and style it H1.

6. For now, the format of the text (font, color, size) does NOT matter. All that matters is each text is in order and is H1, H2, H3, H4 or H5. And that if you want a new slide, you give that category H1 status. So if you want a question on one slide and then an answer on a new slide, your doc might look something like this:





7. Now click Mailings->Check for Errors and choose “Complete the merge without pausing. Report errors in a new document” -> OK

There shouldn’t be any errors. The new doc will have a preview of your slides with each page being a slide. If it looks good, save that document and include MERGE in the name. I advise saving it in the same folder as your Excel file so you can find them and edit them as needed.

8. You’re almost there! Now close the Word Doc (you can’t merge with Office with open documents) and open a blank presentation in PowerPoint. Go to New Slide->Slides from Outline. Open your Word Merge Document and you should have your slides!

Formatting in PowerPoint

9. The formatting will look terrible, so go to View->Slide Master. From there you’ll see something like

Click to edit Master title style

  • Click to edit Master text styles
    • Second level
      • Third level
        • Fourth level
          • Fifth level

“Master Title Style” is the slide title, anything you put in H1. “Master text Style” is H2. Second level is H3. Third level is H4 and so on.

Select the text you want to reformat and use the formatting tools to change the font, color, size, alignment, or spacing. You can even move the text around, change the color of the text box, add images, and format the background of the slides. Anything you do here will apply to ALL your slides.

When done, go to Master Slides->Close Master Slide and you’ll see that all your slides have changed!

That’s it! That’s how you merge data from Excel to PowerPoint. Hope this helps and feel free to leave questions or comments below!

15 Responses

  1. Awesome! I have 35 years in administrative and event planning, also database design…I am now needing this feature creating presentations for multiple properties….so at least Word can bridge the gap! Likely need a true database but this feature may help given all data can reside in Excel (or Access)…as it should to ensure centralized data for use with multiple platforms. Thanks!

  2. When I try to insert slides from Oultine, it keeps saying “PPT can’t open this file because its file extension has changed”. Could you help me?

    1. Off the top of my head, I don’t know why that would happen. A quick google search of “PPT can’t open this file because its file extension has changed” insert slides from outline isn’t very helpful honestly. It seems like this does happen.

      You might try resaving the DOC file under another name, restarting your computer, and starting again with a fresh PowerPoint presentation. I find that helps with 75% of all computer problems. Also make sure that both your Word file and PPT file are the same version of Office, for example both are Office 365 or Office 2016 or whatever it is. You can also contact support.

      Sorry! Wish I could be more help!

    1. I don’t think so. But you could copy and paste the slides into a slideshow OR use the Master View to change the look of the slides.

      1. Why cant Microsfot just add Merge facilty into Powerpoint so we can use a powerpoint template driven by the data source. Work around Ok but it is just that a workaround. Would be a very powerful tool if native to powerpoint!

  3. This was wonderful! Everything worked as you described it except up to the very end. I couldn’t format the final slides as you showed. But, I figured it out and you still saved me hours of work. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Mike, I have the same problem in the end. We cannot format the headings seperately in SlideMaster. Can you tell us how you fixed it? Laura

  4. Well for some reason, when I am at the powerpoint trying to insert New Slide > Outline, all of my files are grayed out. I am not able to insert the merged word doc as the outline file. I’m on a mac – does that matter at all? I can’t seem to figure out why it’s not letting me select any file.

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