# The Quick Guide to PowerPoint Table Formulas

## Introduction

Let’s face it – PowerPoint tables have extremely limited functionality when compared to tables in Excel. This often frustrates users who want to add formulas, such as a simple sum calculation. But there are some things that you can do to make working with PowerPoint tables easier. In this guide, we will cover the following topics:

- Can You Put Formulas in a PowerPoint Table?
- How Do I Auto Calculate Tables in PowerPoint?
- How Do I Add a Sum in a PowerPoint Table?
- The Future of PowerPoint Table Formulas
- Conclusion

Sum Check Your Tables in PowerPoint – Learn More

## Can You Put Formulas in a PowerPoint Table?

The short answer is yes you can add an ‘equation’, but this is very different to a formula that you use in Excel. Adding an equation in PowerPoint is tricky and slow. Therefore, the real answer to this question is no, you cannot put formulas in a PowerPoint table.

PowerPoint tables are designed for displaying data rather than for calculating data. This is why they do not support formulas in the same way that Excel tables do. In other words, you cannot directly insert and execute formulas within a PowerPoint table like you can in Excel.

For most people it doesn’t take long to notice the limitations of PowerPoint tables. Therefore, the most common approach is to create your table and perform the calculations in Excel, then paste the table into PowerPoint (plus a little bit of reformatting afterwards).

Alternatively, you can link an Excel spreadsheet to your PowerPoint slide, allowing you to update and display data from the Excel sheet. This method ensures that your data remains dynamic and updated without manually recalculating every time there's a change.

However, these links can easily get broken when multiple users are working on a presentation, which can lead to errors within your tables. Consider using the free TableSum plugin to check that your PowerPoint tables always add up – Learn more here.

### How to Link an Excel Spreadsheet to a PowerPoint Slide

**Open both PowerPoint and Excel:**Start by having both applications open on your computer.**Create your table in Excel:**Enter your data and use Excel's formula features to perform the necessary calculations.**Copy the Excel table:**Highlight the table in Excel, right-click, and select "Copy."**Paste the table into PowerPoint:**Go to your PowerPoint slide, right-click where you want the table, and choose "Paste Special." Select "Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object."**Link the table:**To ensure that your PowerPoint table updates with changes in Excel, choose the "Paste Link" option.

This method allows your PowerPoint table to remain updated with your latest data and calculations from Excel.

### How Do I Auto Calculate Tables in PowerPoint?

PowerPoint tables do not support auto-calculating like Excel does. However, you can achieve this functionality via three methods, as follows:

#### Method 1: Embedding Excel Worksheets

Embedding an Excel worksheet in your PowerPoint presentation is one of the most effective ways to include auto-calculating tables. Here’s how you can do it:

##### 1. Insert an Excel Worksheet

- Go to the slide where you want the table.
- Click on "Insert" > "Table" > "Excel Spreadsheet."
- This action will insert an Excel worksheet directly into your slide.

##### 2. Enter Data and Formulas

- Use this embedded worksheet just like a regular Excel spreadsheet.
- Enter your data and use Excel formulas to perform calculations.

##### 3. Auto-update

- Whenever you update the data in the embedded Excel worksheet, the calculations will auto-update.

This method allows you to use the full power of Excel’s formula capabilities within your PowerPoint presentation.

Check Your PowerPoint Tables, Without Excel – Learn More

#### Method 2: Linking Excel Data

*Note: This method was outlined in the previous section “**Can You Put Formulas in a PowerPoint Table?**”*

Linking Excel data to PowerPoint is another approach. This method involves creating the table and calculations in Excel and then linking the Excel file to your PowerPoint slide. Any updates in the Excel file will reflect in the PowerPoint slide. The steps include:

##### 1. Create Your Table in Excel

- Input your data and use formulas to perform calculations in Excel.

##### 2. Copy and Paste Link

- Highlight the table in Excel, right-click, and choose “Copy.”
- Go to your PowerPoint slide, right-click, and choose “Paste Special” > “Paste Link.”

By using the paste link option, your PowerPoint table will dynamically update whenever the Excel file is updated.

#### Method 3: Using VBA (Visual Basic for Applications)

For those comfortable with programming, using VBA can automate table calculations within PowerPoint. VBA is a powerful tool that can be used to write custom scripts for automating tasks in PowerPoint, including the ability to auto calculate equations in your tables.

### How Do I Add a Sum in a PowerPoint Table?

Adding a sum in a PowerPoint table can be best achieved through using either a calculator or Excel. Let’s walk through them now:

#### Using a Calculator

If you prefer to work directly within PowerPoint, you can manually calculate and enter the sum, as follows:

**Create Your Table:**Insert a table in PowerPoint and enter your data.**Calculate Sum:**Use a calculator or another tool to sum the values.**Enter the Sum:**Manually type the sum in the desired cell.

This method is straightforward but can be time-consuming, especially for large tables or frequent updates. It can also lead to errors in the final presentation, as checking sums manually is often overlooked. To minimize sum errors in your PowerPoint tables, we recommend that you get the free TableSum plugin here.

#### Using Excel for Sum Calculation

For a more efficient method, use Excel:

**Create Table in Excel:**Input your data and use the SUM formula.**Copy and Paste:**Copy the table and paste it into PowerPoint.

Again, you can also use the free TableSum plugin to check that your totals add up within PowerPoint.

### The Future of PowerPoint Table Formulas

The demand for more advanced data calculation features within presentations is growing. While PowerPoint tables do not currently support formulas, future versions may integrate more advanced functionalities, potentially including:

**Native Formula Support:**Allowing users to insert and use basic formulas directly within PowerPoint tables.**Improved Integration with Excel:**Enhancing the linking and embedding capabilities to make the transition between PowerPoint and Excel easier.**Dynamic Data Updates:**Enabling real-time updates and calculations within PowerPoint, similar to Excel, to facilitate more dynamic presentations.

These advancements would significantly enhance PowerPoint's utility for data-driven presentations, making it an even more powerful tool for its 500 million users.

Ensure Accurate Tables in PowerPoint – Learn More

### Conclusion

While PowerPoint tables do not currently support formulas in the same way as Excel, there are several workarounds to achieve similar results. The most common approach is to prepare the table and calculations in Excel, then copy and paste it into PowerPoint. As time goes on, we expect Microsoft to add more features that make it easier to work with PowerPoint tables.