PowerPoint 2003 still uses the old MS Graph chart engine, and while PowerPoint 2003 probably does not run on any computer anymore, the slides created with it continue to live on. In many corporates, the same slides keep on getting updated with new numbers, sometimes for more than 10 years in a row.

So, in today's PPTX files we still see leftovers of MS Graph charts, almost like virus infections. Depending on the computer and software you are running, some of the following can happen:

  • Random resizing of charts
  • Random re-coloring of charts
  • But worst: a total crash of PowerPoint and loss of data

Here is the instinct I developed and I encourage you to do the same upon noticing an MS Graph chart:

  1. Hit save in PowerPoint
  2. Copy the slide with the virus
  3. (Shivrrrrr), right click and open the MS Graph in the duplicate
  4. Go to the data tab and copy the data in a blank excel sheet
  5. Hit save in PowerPoint
  6. (Pfffew) recreate the chart from scratch
  7. Hit save in PowerPoint
  8. Delete the MS Graph slides
  9. Hit save in PowerPoint

With a bit of help from all of you, PPT 2003/MS Graph charts should be eradicated in 5 years or so.