What's new in think-cell

Continuous improvement

think-cell's subscription-based licensing model allows us to continuously improve our software with no additional costs for our customers. We regularly release free updates that contain great new features besides the usual improvements in stability and speed. This way think-cell becomes more powerful, more efficient and above all easier to use. On this page we would like to take you on a short journey through the version history of our software.

How to update

think-cell 12 is available to all existing customers at no additional costs. It is also available as a full-featured free trial.

think-cell 14


Import Mekko Graphics charts to think-cell

Conveniently import charts created with Mekko Graphics to think-cell. Replace your Mekko Graphics charts with think-cell charts with all their data in corresponding datasheets. Choose the Mekko Graphics charts you want to import, then select Tools Tools Menu icon. > Import Mekko Graphics to think-cell. You can use the complete suite of think-cell tools to edit imported charts.

For more information, see [import mekko graphics chapter].

Easily import existing Mekko Graphics charts into think-cell using the built-in importer tool.

Data table aligned with chart categories and series


100%= row removed from default datasheet

In the datasheet, the 100%= row contains the totals from which percentages in your chart are calculated. This row is no longer part of the default data layout. You can always add it back in with Edit Data Layout .

When creating presentations through automated workflows, keep the new default data layout in mind. Make sure a chart's data in an Excel range or in JSON matches the chart's data layout in the template (see 24. Introduction to automation).

For more information, see 5.5 Edit data layout.

All your slide data in one powerful datasheet

The slide datasheet combines the power of an Excel workbook with a seamless in-slide workflow. Organize a slide's chart and table data in an embedded workbook instead of separate Excel files.

Using the slide datasheet

To open the slide datasheet, select Tools Tools Menu icon. > Open Slide Datasheet.

There are two ways to link charts or other elements to the slide datasheet:

Slide datasheet highlights

  • Add comments or calculations that won't appear in charts.
  • Create a chart and a table from the same data range.
  • Manage your charts and their data within a single PowerPoint file.

For more information, see [slide datasheet section].

Slide datasheet (above) and slide (below) for two charts and a table

More conditional formatting for charts and tables

Format charts and tables with an even wider range of Excel conditional formatting rules.

One of the advantages of think-cell charts and other elements is that you can match the formatting of their features to formatting in their linked datasheets. This includes formatting for fill color, font color, font style, and borders.

think-cell now supports almost all conditional formatting rules, including:

  • Value-based color scales
  • Rules that contain references to other cells
  • Rules for text and dates

For more information, see KB0186 on conditional formatting.

Chart decorations

CAGR labels include "per annum"

Based on your feedback, we've added the suffix per annum (p.a.) to the CAGR arrow label for added clarity. You can edit the label to remove the suffix, if desired.

For more information, see 8.2.2 CAGR arrow.

More trendlines for scatter charts

Add quadratic, cubic, and quartic trendlines to your scatter charts. With our other trendlines—linear, power, exponential, logarithmic, and averages of x or y values—you now have nine trendline types to choose from.

For more information, see 12.4 Trendline and partition.

Grand total labels in Mekko charts

Quickly show the sum of category totals in percent-axis Mekko charts. Right-click the chart and select Add Grand Total Label . The grand total appears at the top right.

For more information, see 10.1 Mekko chart with %-axis.

Visualize ranked data with ordinal axes

Display data in a ranked order with ordinal values on the category axis. Ordinal axes are available for column, line, and area charts.

To display an ordinal scale on the category axis:

  1. Insert a column, line, or area chart.
  2. In the chart's mini toolbar, choose how to rank the category data:
    • To rank the data from highest to lowest, select Categories in Descending Y Extent Order.
    • To rank the data from lowest to highest, select Categories in Ascending Y Extent Order.
  3. Select the chart's category axis to open its mini toolbar. In the topmost dropdown menu, select Ordinal.

For more information, see 8.1 Scales and axes.

Create a table that looks like your Excel sheet

Instantly recreate Excel cell ranges with their formatting as tables in your presentation. Enjoy full control over what you format from the sheet versus from the slide.

Match table formatting to Excel

Match think-cell table formatting options—such as font style, alignment, and fill color—to an Excel cell range. In PowerPoint, select one or more think-cell table cells to open the mini toolbar, then:

  • To match a formatting option to the Excel sheet, select its Use Datasheet option. For example, select Use Datasheet Horizontal Alignment.
  • To control a formatting option from PowerPoint, clear its Use Datasheet checkbox or select a specific option in its dropdown menu.

We've improved support for the following Excel formatting options:

  • Indent levels. To apply indents from Excel, select Use Datasheet Horizontal Alignment.
  • Borders around empty Excel cells. To apply borders from Excel, select Use Datasheet Border.

Add entire Excel ranges with formatting

To insert an Excel cell range as a think-cell table with text boxes and all Use Datasheet options initially selected:

  1. In Excel, select the cells you want to include in the table.
  2. In Excel's think-cell ribbon group, select Link to PowerPoint > Table with Formatting. Place your table on a PowerPoint slide.

To insert a cell range as an image that matches your Excel sheet pixel for pixel, select your cells in Excel. Then select Link to PowerPoint > Table as Image.

To update your Table with Formatting or Table as Image after making changes in Excel, see 21.3 Updating a linked element.

For further information, see 17.3 Formatting a table and 21.4 Creating a table from Excel.

More ways to customize think-cell styles

We've added more options for tailoring think-cell style files to match your corporate design:

  • Set which data labels, like total and segment labels, to display in new charts (see ).
  • Set the color scheme order for stacked charts to start from their baseline series or topmost series (see ).
  • Set preferred font styles for legend labels (see ).

For more information about think-cell style files, see C. Customizing think-cell.


Position and resize elements relative to each other with grouping

You can now group think-cell elements so that they keep their position relative to each other when you reposition or resize them.

Grouping elements is particularly useful in the following cases:

Select multiple elements, right-click on one of the elements to open the context menu, and select Group. To ungroup elements, select Ungroup from the context menu. You can also use PowerPoint's native group and ungroup functions.

Match object alignment and size with reference objects

Reference objects give you more control when aligning and resizing a selection of objects:

  • Align the position of the selected objects to a reference object.
  • Match objects' width, height, or both to a reference object.

The reference object has a red dot at its center. To set the reference object, select multiple objects on a slide, then click your chosen reference object. Reference objects work with think-cell elements, or a mix of think-cell elements and PowerPoint shapes.

For more information, see .

Align objects

Align selected objects to the reference object in PowerPoint's Align menu. Make sure Align Selected Objects is checked.

Match object size

Match selected objects' dimensions to the reference object. In the think-cell tab, in the Layout group, turn on Set Same Width , Set Same Height , or Set Same Size . Set Same Size matches objects' height and width simultaneously.

Objects responsively match each other's size: When you resize one matched object, the other matched objects resize as well. To turn off size matching, turn off the selected option or delete the Same size arrows.

Chart area and plot area

Charts now have an inner plot area within the overall chart area. Align and resize the chart area and plot area independently of each other for more control over your chart's appearance.

Align chart or plot area with gridlines

Align the chart area or plot area to other elements by moving elements around the slide or using their handles.

Red or gray lines—gridlines—appear to help you align the chart area or plot area with other elements. You can create three kinds of gridlines between objects:

  • Gray gridlines indicate that elements' positions relative to each other are locked.
  • Red gridlines extending partway beyond elements indicate that elements' positions are locked on the slide.
  • Red gridlines extending to the edge of the slide indicate that the elements' positions are superlocked on the slide.

For more information, see [Ch. 14 subsection on alignment].

Align charts with each other and other objects on the slide with snapping.

Snap think-cell elements to the chart or plot areas.
Snap think-cell elements to the chart-area or plot-area gridlines.

Snap the chart area to PowerPoint objects if LPBD is on.
Snap the chart-area gridlines to PowerPoint objects in LPBD is on.

Resize the plot area independently of the chart area, if locks are closed and Lock Positions by Default is on. Resizing the chart area restores the original proportions of the chart area and plot area.

Layout compatible

Charts are now more compatible with layout.

Maybe include more about how layout works, since it's new. Like how do red lines and gray lines work.


Add Harvey balls, checkboxes, and images to think-cell tables

Harvey balls, checkboxes, and images are now part of think-cell tables. Control their state manually from the table or dynamically from linked spreadsheets (see 17.1 Inserting a table).

Spreadsheet values determine the state of Harvey balls and checkboxes.

  • Percentages and whole numbers control Harvey ball icon. Harvey balls
  • v, x, and Spacebar control Checkbox icon. checkboxes

See 20.2 Checkbox and Harvey ball for further examples.

To add a Harvey ball or checkbox, select one or more table cells. In the table's mini toolbar, change the cell content to Harvey ball icon. Harvey Ball or Checkbox icon. Checkbox.

To add an online image, copy the image's URL into a spreadsheet cell. In the table's mini toolbar, change the cell content to Image from Online Service (see 17.4 Adding Harvey balls, checkboxes and images).

Images: Pexels

All think-cell tables have datasheets

Create tables with datasheets from grouped elements

Quickly build a table from custom elements and link it to a datasheet.

To convert elements into a think-cell table:

  1. Select the elements you want to include in your table. The elements can include think-cell text boxes, rounded rectangles, Harvey Balls, checkboxes, images, or any combination thereof.
  2. Right-click the selection and select Group .
  3. Create a link to a datasheet:
    • To link to an internal datasheet, right-click the grouped elements and select Open Datasheet .
    • To link to an Excel sheet or slide datasheet, select the desired data range in the sheet. In PowerPoint, right-click the grouped elements and select Establish Excel Link image. .

For more information, see 17.1 Inserting a table.

Table striping uses reference object


Edit icons and other SVG images

Adjust the appearance of scalable vector graphics (SVG) images to visually enhance your message.

Edit SVG images by converting them into PowerPoint shapes and back again. For example, change an icon's colors or just use a part of the image.

For more information, see .

Set fixed dimensions for images

Now, you can set a fixed height or fixed width for your think-cell images.

This gives you more control over the aspect ratio of your image. If you resize your image after setting a fixed dimension, the image scales proportionally.

For more information, see .


Individual indexing and search

Quickly search your existing PowerPoint presentations on slide-level with your content organized and accessible for quick retrieval.

Access to stock images and icons

Directly within PowerPoint, leverage an extensive collection of professional stock images and icons. This feature enriches your presentations with visually appealing and relevant imagery, saving you time and enhancing the overall aesthetic.

Curated high-quality slide templates

Utilize a handpicked selection of high-quality slide templates designed to meet a wide variety of presentation needs. These templates provide a professional starting point, ensuring your presentations stand out with a consistent and polished look.


Fully customizable think-cell ribbon tab

Your most frequently used PowerPoint and think-cell commands, now in one ribbon tab

The new think-cell ribbon tab conveniently combines think-cell's functionalities with popular PowerPoint commands. Enhance your PowerPoint experience with quick and easy access to all the functionalities you need in a single tab.

Make it your own

The think-cell ribbon tab is fully customizable. Personalize yours by rearranging the tab, adding custom ribbon groups and commands, or removing the ones you don't use. For example, add a custom group for your favorite think-cell charts.

customizing the ribbon tab using PowerPoint.

Learn more about the think-cell ribbon tab here.

Copy slide selections to the clipboard

Store a slide selection in the clipboard and paste it wherever it's needed. For example, paste the file into emails, messenger clients, or a folder on your computer.

Select the slides you want to copy, then go to Tools Tools Menu icon. > Send Slides. Choose any additional options, then select Copy to Clipboard. think-cell creates a new presentation with the selected slides and stores the file in the clipboard.

Updated mini toolbar

We've cleaned up some formatting options in the mini toolbar.

  • Moved the Use Datasheet Font Color and Use Datasheet Bold/Italic options into their corresponding dropdown menus.
  • Added an option, Stacked Fill Order: Bottom to Top, to reverse the color scheme order in a stacked chart. Consider removing custom reversed color schemes from your style files and use the checkbox option instead. For more information, see .
  • Added a button, Convert Text Field to Plain Text, to edit text from the slide instead of the datasheet. Note that after conversion, the text will no longer be updated from its data source.

Offline manual

Stay productive wherever you are with a copy of think-cell's user manual. It's saved on your computer when you install think-cell, and opens in the browser with the same look and feel as our website.

To use the offline manual, go to Tools menu icon. Tools, then select User Manual.


  • Improved proxy server support: We now use WinHTTP services instead of WinINet for more seamless integration with your proxy server settings.
  • Additional API function for style files: Return the name of the style file loaded into a presentation layout (see F.2.2.3 GetStyleName).

think-cell 13

Build presentations faster with the think-cell library

Deliver beautiful, on-brand presentations faster than ever with the think-cell library. Effortlessly manage slides, templates, and other presentation assets directly within PowerPoint.

  • Choose from over 250 free, professionally designed slide templates.
  • Access online stock image and icon providers.
  • Instantly locate slide and image assets on your computer or computers on your network. Search text in your presentations and file names.

Browse professionally designed slide templates

Streamline presentation creation with beautiful, free slide templates from think-cell. The library contains over 250 templates for process flows, SWOT analyses, conceptual frameworks, and more. Templates automatically adjust to your color themes and slide masters, ensuring consistency across your presentations.

Add stock images and icons

Access millions of stock images and icons in the think-cell library. Icons from Freepik and images from Pexels and Unsplash are free to use with think-cell. If you have a subscription to Brandfolder, Canto, or Getty Images, you can add these sources to the library as well.

Instantly find the assets you need

Search existing images and slides on your computer or a computer you're connected to, and insert the assets into your presentation—all directly within PowerPoint.

With the think-cell library, it's easy to find that perfect slide you created months ago:

  • Search presentation file names and specific text on your slides.
  • Filter the results by date modified, aspect ratio, author, slide master, and layout.

To add your assets to the think-cell library, just add them to a computer folder or network drive, then sync the folder to the library (see ). Any new assets you add to a synced folder or drive automatically appear in the library.

Explore the possibilities

For more information on how the think-cell library can enhance your productivity and presentation quality, see .

Fully customizable think-cell ribbon tab

Access your most frequently used commands in one place

The new think-cell ribbon tab conveniently combines think-cell's functionalities with popular PowerPoint commands. Enhance your PowerPoint experience with quick and easy access to all the functionalities you need in a single tab.

Customize your ribbon tab

Windows users can fully customize their ribbon tab. Personalize the ribbon by rearranging the tab, adding custom ribbon groups and commands, or removing the ones you don't use. For example, add a custom group for your favorite think-cell charts.

customizing the ribbon tab using PowerPoint.

For more information, see .

think-cell 12: Enhanced control of what you already love about think-cell

Making PowerPoint better goes even further with think-cell 12. While the addition of Profile charts bolsters our ever-expanding portfolio of charts and graphs, the enhancements included in this release increase your ability to easily control, connect and display more information. From applying color to multiple partitions (versus only one side) to linking Harvey balls, checkboxes, and even images to data in Excel, think-cell continues to shave hours off your day while making every presentation shine. It’s that simple.

Included in this release:

Rotated line / combo charts

Rotated line chart. You can create rotated line charts, also known as profile charts, and rotated combo charts in the same way as rotated stacked or clustered charts.

Similarly, for a rotated stacked or clustered chart you can use the chart type control to change the chart type to line, keeping the rotation.

The think-cell profile chart is an easy way to visualize even the most complex trends with data that indicates the value area and points of control related to specific topic areas.

Common use cases include: Company or product comparisons across various categories, personality profiles, market profiles for financial and banking industries.

Using a rotated line chart and error bars, you can create football fields. They can be used to visualize the low and high values for an item and the spread between them.

Football field chart with low and high values and the spread between them shown as a bar.

To create a football field chart:

  1. Create a rotated line chart
  2. Enter the low and high values in the datasheet Football field chart datasheet.
  3. Select both the lines for low and high values
  4. Right-click and choose Add Error Bars from think-cell's context menu
  5. Select one error bar and format both the bar and data points for low and high values as desired. You would typically switch to a thick error bar, e.g., 6pt in football field charts
  6. Right-click the chart background and select Add Gridlines from the context menu. To style all of them, select any one of them and press Ctrl+A to select all. You can then choose formatting options from the floating toolbar, such as a lighter color.

Scatter chart partition fills

You can directly select individual partitions in scatter and bubble charts. This makes it easy to give each partition a different fill color, if desired. Previously, you selected a partition line to choose the fill color to only one side of the line.

Scatter chart with one partition selected to choose the fill color.

To create a chart with four partition fills:

  1. Create a scatter chart as usual
  2. Add two partition lines that intersect
  3. Move the mouse pointer into one of the partitions, which will highlight in orange as a selection target
  4. Select the partition and choose a fill color
  5. Repeat for the other partitions.

This also works for areas bounded by non-linear trendlines!

Editable Data Layout

You can now customize the layout of the internal datasheet as well as that of Excel links.

This is particularly useful when you want to link charts to an existing Excel sheet whose layout you do not want to modify. Let's say you have an Excel sheet laid out like this, and want to create a column chart out of the selected range:

An Excel sheet containing data for a chart.

  1. Select the range and click Insert > think-cell > Link to PowerPoint > Stacked
  2. Place the chart in the desired position on the slide.

In the resulting linked range, the first data row is misinterpreted as 100% values, and the first data column as series labels.

To get the correct interpretation of the data:

  1. Right-click the green border of the linked range and select Edit Data Layout Linked Excel range with context menu open, hovering on Edit Data Layout.
  2. Disable Series Labels and 100%= Linked Excel range with Edit Data Layout menu shown.
  3. Click the green update flag on the chart in PowerPoint.

The link will now correctly interpret all linked cells except the first row as data values, with data rows representing series.

To label the series, simply right-click the chart, select Add Series Labels and replace the placeholder in the labels accordingly. The final result will look something like this:

Stacked column chart created from linked data with edited layout.

Note: When working with the internal datasheet of a chart, you can find the Edit Data Layout button in the Quick Access Toolbar at the top of the window.

You can click Highlight on Slide in the Data Links dialog to highlight all elements linked to external sources on the slide, to further facilitate easy management of your data links.

Highlighted Linked Text Field on Slide with Data Links Dialog Next to it. Text linked to Excel is now listed in the Data Links dialog.

Option to lock positions by default for tables, text boxes and other elements

think-cell tables, text boxes and other elements are automatically resized and positioned. This advanced automation can be a great time-saver, but is also quite different from PowerPoint's standard mode. A new option allows you to have the best of both worlds, getting access to think-cell's new elements while controlling size and position yourself. You can find it in the Tools menu icon. Tools menu.

Lock Positions by Default option. Lock icon. Lock Positions by Default is activated by default in think-cell 12.

When Lock icon. Lock Positions by Default is active, think-cell elements that you add have all locks closed.

Table with all locks closed.

  • To move the element, select the whole table and drag it. It will keep its size and the locks will be moved to the new postions.
  • To resize, drag the respective lock or handle. For example, to make the element wider, drag the right lock or the handle on the right edge.

See also . If you are already familiar with locking positions and think-cell layout, see 15.8.3 Locking positions by default for an in-depth description of how this option affects their behavior.

Option to align center/align middle for all think-cell layout elements

You can now align the horizontal (Align Objects Center) or vertical (Align Objects Middle) center of a think-cell layout element, or a group of think-cell layout elements with one another, or with the slide.

Just as with other alignments between think-cell's smart layout elements, this relationship will be maintained even when something causes the slide layout to change.

Let's say you want to have an image of a fixed size on your agenda slides that is always aligned vertically with the middle of the table of contents, which in turn is always in the center of the slide horizontally. You can now easily achieve this as follows:

  1. Insert an agenda slide into your presentation by selecting Chapter from the think-cell Elements menu
  2. Insert the desired stock image by selecting it in the Elements > Stock Image and clicking on the slide to the left of the agenda table of contents to insert it
  3. Select the table of contents by clicking its border, so that the locks are shown, and click Home > Drawing > Arrange > Align > Align Center. A red line with a closed lock will appear in the middle of the table of contents

    A think-cell table of contents aligned to the center of the slide.

  4. Multi-select the image and the table of contents by holding Ctrl and clicking both. Click Home > Drawing > Arrange > Align > Align Middle. A grey line connecting the middle of both elements will appear, indicating that they are aligned with each other around that position
    The alignment lines of an image and a table of contents aligned at their middle.
  5. Select the image and, holding Ctrl drag one of its resize handles to fix its desired size.

Now you can add chapters, subchapters, etc. to your agenda as usual, and think-cell will automatically take care that the desired relation between slide, table of contents, and image is maintained.

Additional features

Customize appearance of Gantt charts

You can now customize the appearance of the Gantt chart using the new <gantt> element in the style file: From setting default background fills for different elements over fine-grained control over the properties of every single kind of line in the chart to new choices for the look of the date scale. For a detailed description, see gantt.

We have also added support to Gantt charts for fiscal years that always start or end on a particular weekday, and thus require leap weeks, as well as support for 4-4-5, 4-5-4, and 5-4-4 calendars. For example, including the following element in your style file will allow you to use fiscal years ending on the Friday closest to Janurary 31st, and with 13 week quarters following a 4-5-4 convention:

	<end month="jan"/>
	<weekAlignment lastWeekday="fri" lastDay="nearestToEndOfLastMonth" weeksPerMonth="454"/>

For a detailed description, see D.11.2 fiscalYear.

think-cell now supports Windows on ARM

This means you can now use it on your Microsoft Surface Pro X, for example.

Remove the X-axis/baseline of charts

To place the chart on top of a picture or visual background, for example, simply right-click the axis and click the Delete icon. Delete button, or left-click the axis to select it and press the Del key. To add it back in, right-click a highlighted segment of the X-axis area, and select Add Axis Line icon. Add Axis Line .

A column chart without a baseline.
Deleting Unused Links in Excel

You can now delete all disconnected data links in an open workbook. Simply click Delete Disconnected Links from think-cell's Tools menu icon. Tools menu in Excel, or right-click a linked range highlighted in red and select Delete Disconnected Data Links icon. Delete All Disconnected Data Links from the contextual menu.

Cleaning and sanitization

think-cell has expanded its cleaning and sanitization options, to help you prevent leakage of sensitive internal or client data, and has bundled them into a single Clean Up... dialog. For example, think-cell can remove all Comments and Presentation Notes, as well as any unused Slide Masters and Layouts embedded in the presentation. It can also automatically replace all numbers contained in the presentation with random ones. The same functionality is available when using think-cell's Send/Save Slides... dialog.

Predefined slide layouts

You can now predefine slide layouts in the style file which will be shown as thumbnails on inserting or moving a chart. Click one of the rectangular areas marked on the thumbnail to quickly and precisely insert the chart with that position and size. This is especially useful when combining it with slide templates to ensure consistent placement of charts on the slide in relation to other elements. Think of it as placeholders for think-cell charts, just more flexible. For detailed instructions on how to do this, see D.7 Predefining slide layouts for placing charts.

Slide thumbnails previewing positions for insertion.
Improved color picker

think-cell now comes with an improved tool for picking colors, accessible by selecting Custom... from any color control. It gives you a useful preview by immediately applying the selected color on the slide. You can also easily switch between choosing colors for different features of the selected element, such as fill color and font color, and even switch to choosing the colors for a different element simply by selecting it on the slide. If you want to select a predefined RGB color in either hex (#82a617) or decimal (rgb(130, 166, 23) or R119 G119 B119) format, simply enter it into the box bottom right.

think-cell color picker.

think-cell 11

Our CEO Markus Hannebauer walks you through the most important new features of think-cell 11 in the following short video. See below for further details.

Linked data tables

You can create linked data tables in PowerPoint from data ranges in Excel.

Chart and data table, both linked to Excel data.

To create both a chart and a data table:

  1. Create a linked chart as usual
  2. In Excel, select just the series labels and numbers
  3. Choose Table from think-cell's Elements button in Excel
  4. Place the data table on the slide and restrict its position as desired with the locks, e.g., to be below and aligned with the chart.

Updating the linked table works exactly the same as updating the chart. You can even set it to update automatically whenever the data changes in Excel. See 17. Table to learn more.

Image element and inserting stock photos

You can convert bitmap image shapes to think-cell elements by selecting the image and choosing Convert images to think-cell in the ≡ menu. think-cell will take the image into account when automatically positioning smart text boxes, process flows and tables.

Convert image to think-cell menu item.

Using the Stock Image button in the Elements menu, you can directly insert a stock photo that will be part of the automatic slide layout. On first use you need to enter your Getty credentials, or you can use free images from Unsplash. See 18. Images to learn more.

Insert Stock Photo menu item.

Data connector for Tableau

You can connect a view on a Tableau dashboard with a PowerPoint chart using think-cell. See 23. Tableau data to learn more.

  1. Open a Tableau dashboard in Chrome.
  2. Click the icon of the think-cell extension:

    think-cell Chrome extension icon.

  3. The different views on your dashboard are detected and shaded in green when the mouse pointer is over them. Click one.

    Select view on Tableau dashboard.

  4. A new tab is opened with the view's data. Pick the chart type you want to create.

    Pick think-cell chart type.

  1. Assign columns to the parts of the think-cell datasheet pertinent to the chosen chart type, i.e., for a stacked chart, categories, series and values.

    Assign Tableau data columns to think-cell datasheet parts.

  2. Click Create to create a think-cell chart in PowerPoint.

    think-cell chart from Tableau data.

think-cell remembers the connection to the Tableau data! Clicking on the datasheet button of the chart in PowerPoint will open the tab with the view's data in Chrome. There, you can click on Update to transmit updated data to PowerPoint. You can also start the data update from think-cell's Data Links dialog:

Category labels on top of a chart.

Text fields linked to Excel

You can insert a text field that is linked to a cell in Excel into any think-cell label or PowerPoint text box.


  1. In Excel, select the cell with the content you wish to link to
  2. In PowerPoint, place the cursor in a label or text box
  3. Choose Text Linked to Excel from think-cell's Elements button in Excel

The contents of the linked text field always updates automatically when the cell contents in Excel changes.

Changes to the user interface for Same Scale

The Same Scale functionality is improved and more flexible. It was necessary to move the button to access it. The Same Scale button is not shown anymore when two or more whole charts are selected. Instead, select the parts you want to scale the same in both charts:

  • two segments, one in each chart
  • two axes, one in each chart
  • two gridlines, one in each chart
  • two data points, one in each chart

Applying same scale after selecting two gridlines.

You can also mix and match, i.e., for a line and a column chart, you would select a data point in the line chart and a segment in the column chart.

As before, you then right-click and choose Set Same Scale from the contextual menu. And also as before, you can set more than two charts to the same scale. Just select, e.g., one segment in each chart and apply Same Scale. See below for another example, this time using two segments, in two charts:

Applying same scale after selecting two segments.

To revert to automatic scaling, select a segment, axis, gridline or data point and choose Reset to Independent Scale from the contextual menu.

Additional features

Ctrl+A is much more powerful now. Hit it repeatedly to automatically select ever larger sets: all labels of one series, then for all series, then all labels in the chart. Same for all segments of one series, then all segments in the chart, then even all segments across all charts on the same slide. As the next formatting change you make will be applied across the whole selection, this makes wide-ranging changes very fast.

You can move category labels to the top of the chart, without flipping the chart itself.

Category labels on top of a chart.

Do you have a multi-level agenda with too many sub-items to always show everything? You can now hide all chapters of a certain type. For example, select a third-level agenda item, right-click and choose Hide this and similar chapters. The currently active chapter can not be hidden, of course. To go back, select the whole agenda and choose Show all chapters and subchapters from its context menu. (learn more)

Agenda with button to hide all chapters of a type.

Chart scaling is adjustable even without a visible axis by selecting a segment, data point or gridline and using the usual axis handles.

Chart with axis handles without a visible axis.

Support for right-to-left charts for use with right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. When you change the language, all existing charts are switched to right-to-left automatically and vice versa.

Gantt chart in Hebrew going from right to left.

Specify fill colors directly in JSON:


In the Gantt chart, you can set a fiscal year that is different from the calendar year. In a style file, include the following snippet for a fiscal year that ends in September. Q1 of the next year would start with October:

    <end month="sep"/> 

think-cell 10

Now on macOS

After several years of development, we have achieved what no other company has done before – we have ported a complex Windows Office add-in to Office for Mac without sacrificing functionality! Your license for think-cell on Windows is also valid for macOS. think-cell 10 works with Microsoft Office 2016 for Mac version 16.9 or later, running on OS X Yosemite (10.10) or later.

With think-cell 10, you can now choose your favorite working environment and have the same great user experience. The interface is exactly the same and all features are available.

User Interface

With think-cell now branching across multiple platforms we took the opportunity to refresh the user interface. Icons in the Elements menu and context menu have a fresh new look.

Context toolbar with row of chart type icons.

With one click, you can change the chart type from this row of icons.

Context toolbar with row of chart type icons.

In the Data Links dialog you can now also easily select all charts linked to a specific Excel source file, and update them with one click (see 21.6 Data Links dialog).

Data Links dialog.

New buttons in the contextual toolbar help you easily update and revert, as well as switch to automatic updates for a chart.

Context toolbar with row of excel link icons.

Selecting a series in the legend of a scatter or bubble chart highlights all points or bubbles of the series.

Bubble chart with one series highlighted.

Same scale and axes

Setting charts to the same scale is now persistent. If the scale changes in one chart, all charts with the same scale will be updated. You can set charts to the same scale even when their axes are not displayed (see 8.1.4 Same scale).

Using the same scale for multiple charts also works with axis breaks. Setting the same scale does not remove existing breaks, and adding an axis break to one chart will automatically add it to other charts using the same scale.

Two charts set to the same scale with an axis break.

The X axes can also be set to same scale if they are value-based or date-based. For example, you can easily set two line charts to show the same years, even when the date range covered by the data is different (see 8.1.4 Same scale).

Two line charts set to the same scale.

Scatter and bubble charts now support same scale. You independently choose whether the X- or Y-axis should use the same scale.

Two scatter charts set to the same scale.

Value axes support a reversed axis. Scatter and bubble charts support a numerically reversed axis. Column, clustered and area charts simply flip the chart. In a line chart with two axes, you can set one to a reversed order to highlight negative correlations (see ).

Line chart with one reversed axis.

Save and send slides

On Windows, you can use Gmail when sending slides instead of Outlook. To enable this, you set "think-cell Send with Gmail" as the default email program (see 20.5 Sending and saving slides).

Default progams dialog with think-cell Send With Gmail selected.

The "Save Slides..." command uses a dialog which includes your Quick Access folders. At the bottom of the dialog, you can choose which slides to include and whether date and time should be added to the filename.

Save slides dialog with options to choose included slides and append date and time to filename.

When using "Save Slides..." and "Send Slides...", the filename better represents your choices: If you choose to send the entire presentation, for example, the file name does not contain slides numbers.

Color and style

The font color of text in labels can be chosen and is not reset, even if the label background changes (see 6.5.2 Font color).

Chart with colored labels and font color control.

The Load Style File command makes it easy to load previously used and default style files. Initially, it contains all styles included with think-cell for easy selection.

List of recently used files for Load Style File command.

The color scheme for new charts is always taken from the think-cell style. The most recently used color scheme is now irrelevant when inserting a new chart. You can use a style file to set your preferred color scheme as the default (see C. Customizing think-cell).

Chart decorations

In the scatter chart, trendlines based on a power law, exponential or logarithmic relationship can be fitted to your data (see 12.4.1 Trendline).

Scatter chart with power law trendline and trendline type control.

You can represent the numerical scale of your chart with only gridlines instead of an axis line, instead of showing both (see 8.1.1 Value axis).

Stacked chart with gridlines and axis handles.


Create slides with text content based on JSON input while using the full power and flexibility of smart text fields. The new named text fields serve as placeholders in your automation templates (see 24. Introduction to automation).

Named Text Field element in Elements menu.

think-cell 9

Smart text boxes

think-cell's text boxes have been given a boost of intelligence. You can now use them to create complex slide layouts without manually moving or resizing any elements (learn more). Watch the video to see how it works.

Doughnut charts

Make your pie charts stand out even more by converting them to our newest chart type, the doughnut chart. And yes, doughnut charts look just like they sound. They’re essentially pie charts with a hole in the middle. This new chart design helps to accentuate the data slices and provides a place to highlight additional information. Learn more.

Doughnut chart with labels and title.

Enhanced chart rendering

For better visual quality and faster editing, think-cell 9 uses PowerPoint's native chart component to render charts instead of the legacy MS Graph component. This also removes several other limits, e.g., scatter and line charts can now contain more than 4,000 data points. think-cell's user interface itself is not changed at all by the new rendering back-end. You will just notice the improved visual quality and better compatibility.

Automation with JSON

In addition to Excel, you can now use JSON data to automatically create and update periodic reports (learn more). This new enhancement allows you to:

  • Create presentations automatically by merging template charts with JSON data.
  • Build a web service that creates think-cell charts.
  • Export your business intelligence reports as PowerPoint slides.

More new charting features

The new "Flat" agenda style uses background fills instead of rectangles. Learn more.

Agenda slide flat visual style.

Tooltips now show labels and numeric values for individual datapoints.

Chart labels and numeric values tooltip.

Chart types can now be switched between absolute and percentage, even when there's no axis. Learn more.

Absolute and percentage-based charts.

The sort order of slices can now be easily changed for pie and doughnut charts.

Pie and doughnut chart sort order.

In waterfall charts, category sort options such as "Categories First Up, Then Down, Including Start" ensure that sum columns stay in their position.

Waterfall chart category sort options.

The baseline weight can now be changed.

Baseline weight options.

Changes to existing charting features

In previous versions you adjusted the column width by changing the gap width between columns. In think-cell 9, you instead adjust the column width directly by using the following handles: Learn more.

Change column width with a handle.

Label rotation was changed by dragging a handle in previous version, while other properties like font size and number format were set using the floating toolbar. In think-cell 9, you also set label rotation in the floating toolbar. Learn more.

Set label rotation in the floating toolbar.

In previous versions, milestones where shaped as a triangle or diamond and you switched between them with a button in the milestone's context menu. In think-cell 9, additional shapes were added. Therefore, you choose the milestone shape with a control in the floating toolbar, which shows a list of choices. Learn more.

Choose milestone shape from the floating toolbar.

New tools to make you more productive

Quickly switch the decimal symbol (e.g., German to US format) for labels on all or selected slides. Learn more.

Change decimal symbol on PowerPoint slides.

Remove animations from all or selected slides. Learn more.

Remove PowerPoint animations from slides.

Quickly choose custom colors with the new eyedropper tool. Learn more.

Choose custom colors with eyedropper tool.

New keyboard shortcuts:

  • Multi-select labels with Ctrl+Alt+Shift+ .
  • Duplicate elements, e.g., in tables and process flows, with Ctrl+Alt+ .

Additional customization options

  • Control agenda placement through a custom layout that can also contain more shapes for agenda slides. Learn more.
  • Define theme color shades as a base color plus brightness. Learn more.
  • Specify checkboxes with more options: non-square images, e.g., traffic lights, and all Unicode characters. Learn more.
  • For a color scheme, specify that it is not remembered as the default for subsequent charts. Learn more.

Improved Sharepoint support

think-cell fully supports the new user interface for conflict resolution in PowerPoint 2016 that is based on whole slides. Concurrent editing in SharePoint/PowerPoint 2013 is also improved.

think-cell 8

Process flow

think-cell 8 greatly expands the slide layout functionality of our software by introducing the pentagon/chevron and textbox as new think-cell elements. Show project steps with accompanying bullet points by creating the basic structure very quickly out of building blocks, and use flexible single-click duplication to add additional steps. The following video shows this in action.

The layout is continuously re-arranged and optimized automatically when the text in elements changes. Furthermore, the direction of the whole structure can be changed from left-to-right to top-to-bottom by dragging the unified rotation handle. Learn more.

Excel link for Gantt chart

You like linking charts directly to Excel and having them update automatically? With think-cell 8, Excel links also work in Gantt charts. You can link activities and milestones to dates in Excel. When the dates change, the Gantt chart is updated as well. Learn more.

Link Excel data with Gantt charts in PowerPoint.

Chart to data

Sometimes source data is only available in a chart on a website or a PDF document. The new Chart Scanner tool in think-cell 8 lets you work with this data. Below on the left is a chart in a PDF document. On the right, the segments were automatically detected by think-cell and the numerical data is ready for import. Learn more.

Extract data from chart images and create functional charts in Excel and PowerPoint.

Chart type conversion

Would you like to change chart types after the chart has already been created? In think-cell 8, you can easily convert chart types. For example, you can change stacked columns to clustered columns, segments to lines and many more combinations.

Change think-cell chart types.

More new charting features

  • Do you want the series labels in a legend to appear in a different order than in the datasheet? With think-cell 8, you can also use the chart's visual order, which may be different due to sorting, or an alphabetical order.

    Chart series labels reordering.

  • Automated chart updates with think-cell's programming functions become even more automatic: The chart width remains fixed when the number of chart categories changes, minimizing necessary manual changes to the slide layout.
  • Set the numerical sign of labels independently for segments and totals.


Co-authoring in Microsoft Sharepoint is supported.

think-cell 7

Compatibility with Microsoft Office 2016

think-cell 7 is the first version of our software that is compatible with Microsoft Office 2016. Of course, it is compatible with all current Microsoft Windows and Office versions, including 32 and 64 bit versions. It is therefore recommended to install think-cell 7 regardless of which Windows or Office version is used.

Charting features

  • Aggregate data into a separate Other series from the segments' context menu in column, Mekko, area and combination charts. Add segments to or remove them from the Other series simply by dragging a handle. (More on this)

    Aggregate data into separate series in column, mekko, area, and combination charts.

  • Sort categories by their total values directly from the chart's floating toolbar. (More on this)

    Sort chart categories by total values.

  • Interactively resize data bubbles in bubble charts by dragging a bubble's handle. The other bubbles will be updated automatically, maintaining correct size ratios.

    Resize data bubbles in bubble charts. Resized data bubbles in bubble charts.

  • Adjust the reference size of the bubble size legend by dragging its handle.
  • Easily toggle the value axis between absolute and percent representations in stacked, 100% and area charts. (More on this)
  • To move all Gantt chart date items at once, press Ctrl+A while a bar, milestone or process is selected.

Formatting and style

  • Choose from the complete set of Microsoft Office design theme colors to style your think-cell charts. If needed, compatibility with Office 2003 and older versions can be ensured by a restricted color scheme offered in the chart's floating toolbar.
  • Customize your charts for a consistent visual identity with new options in the think-cell style file. In version 6, you could already change defaults for segment colors and color schemes. Now, in addition, you can define your own line colors and line styles, arrow bubble fills and outlines, Harvey balls and checkboxes, which may even include pictures instead of checkmark signs. (More on this)

Label content

  • Labels entered into the datasheet can now be up to 255 characters long without being truncated in the chart.
  • Create clean yet unambiguous charts by showing 4-digit year numbers on specific axis labels, while keeping 2-digit years for all others. (More on this)
  • In recognition of our growing Asian user community and its currency conventions, you can now find 104, 108 and 1012 in think-cell's magnitude dropdown box.

User interface improvements

  • Floating toolbars now open to the right of the mouse pointer, staying out of the way of selected elements.
  • Easily access cell formats from the datasheet toolbar with the new datasheet formatting button.