How to Use Graph Callouts in PowerPoint

By Ryan Menezes

Presentations often combine graphs with separate information.
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PowerPoint callouts are shapes that annotate your presentation with additional labels. Each callout points to a specific location on the slide, describing or labeling it. Callouts particularly help you when annotating graphs, which you otherwise need to edit by opening Microsoft Excel alongside your presentation. For example, if you have created a graph using detailed data from a a sales spreadsheet, a bold callout can direct your audience's attention to the part of the graph that is most relevant to your presentation.

Insert a graph into your presentation if you haven't already. Select the data to include in the chart, click the "Insert" tab and select a chart type in the Charts area.

Click the "Insert" tab and click "Shapes" in the Illustrations group to open a drop-down list.

Click one of the options in the menu's Callouts section to change your mouse pointer to a cross. For example, click the thumbnail labeled "Rounded Rectangular Callout."

Click and drag over your slide to insert the callout.

Click and drag the yellow dot on the callout to point it to a particular area of the graph.

On the Format tab, click "Shape Fill" in the Shape Styles group to open a drop-down list. Click a color to choose the callout's color.

Right-click the callout and click "Edit Text." Type your annotation and press "Enter" to apply it to the callout.