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Excel info cut off or cropped when pasted into PowerPoint

Excel and PowerPoint can only exchange a limited amount of information across the clipboard. The exact amount of data seems to vary with the operating system the video resolution and the version of Powerpoint.

Several of the PowerPoint MVPs and other newsgroup members tested this as follows:

We started with this 30k Excel file (XLSwidths.XLS)

It contains columns A - Z formatted at a width of 10 and rows 1 - 40 at a height of 25.

We opened the file in Excel, selected the entire range of data outlined above, then chose Edit, Copy.

We switched to PowerPoint, chose Edit, Paste Special, Link.

We then checked the pasted data to see how much of the spreadsheet appeared in PowerPoint and recorded the results. You'll note that there are a few blanks, and that Win 2000 hasn't been tested yet. If you'd like to run the tests for these, please post the results on the PowerPoint newsgroup and we'll include them here. Thanks!

We originally tested most of these setups in both Large and Small Fonts modes, but the results were the same in both cases. For that reason, we've omitted those results. PowerPoint XP seems to have cured the problem with cut-off Excel data. We extended the spreadsheet to 100 rows and still got no cutoff.

System PPT 97, PPT 2000 PPT 2002/XP
WinXP, 800x600 1 - 21.5
A - J
1 - 100
A - Z
WinXP, 1024 x 768 1 - 27.5
A - M
1 - 100
A - Z
WinXP, 1280 x 1024 1 - 37
A - P
1 - 100
A - Z
Win 2000, 800 x 600 1 - 24
A - J
Win 2000, 1024 x 768 1 - 31
A - M
Win 2000, 1280 x 1024 1 - 31
A - M
WinNT4, 800 x 600 1 - 19
A - H
WinNT4, 1024 x 768 1 - 25
A - J
Win98, 800 x 600 1 - 37
A - P
1 - 100
A - Z
Win98, 1024 x 768 1 - 37
A - P
1 - 100
A - Z
Win98, 1280 x 1024 1 - 37
A - P
1 - 100
A - Z

Working conclusions:

1 XP has solved the Excel cutoff problem.
2 Display resolution has an effect in WinNT/XP but not in Win98
3 Win98 behaves like WinNT/XP in 1280 x 1024 mode

What follows is older information, which may not be accurate for your version of PowerPoint.

Oddly, the limit isn't on the amount of data but on the size. The size of the PowerPoint clipboard is limited to 33 x 33 cm or roughly 13 x 13 inches. See Q223348 for more detailed information.

For this reason, if you reformat your data small enough in Excel it'll all come into PowerPoint just fine.

Try reducing text size, making columns narrower and so forth.

Or better yet, try this neat tip from Beth Park, posted in the newsgroup:

Create a safe area rectangle to delineate the area in Excel that will be copied/pasted into PowerPoint without getting clipped. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. In Excel, draw a rectangle. You may need to open the Drawing Toolbar to access the rectangle drawing tool (View--Toolbars--Drawing). Make sure the upper left hand corner of the rectangle is in the upper left hand corner of the worksheet.
  2. Right click on the rectangle and select Format Autoshape from the menu. This opens the Format Autoshape window. Establish the following settings:
    • Colors and Lines tab--Select "No Fill" for Fill Color; set Line Color to whatever color you wish (red works well for me)
    • Size tab--set the height = 12.84", set the width = 11.78", make sure Lock Aspect Ratio is not selected
    • Properties tab--select "Don't move or size with cells." This ensures that the rectangle will retain i's size and position. Make sure Print Object is not selected. This ensures that the object will not print when you print the worksheet, even after copying or importing the worksheet into PowerPoint. You will see the rectangle, but it won't print.
  3. After adjusting all the settings in Format Autoshape, click the OK button.
The rectangle you have created should now be correctly formatted to serve as your safe area. All cells wholly within the safe area rectangle should be viewable when pasted in PowerPoint. Adjust fonts, column widths, and row heights to fit more of the worksheet into the safe area, as needed. Excel MVP Jon Peltier's site includes this very useful Using Excel with Other Office Applications section. Recommended reading!
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Excel info cut off or cropped when pasted into PowerPoint
Last update 07 June, 2011