OEG Best Practice: Best practices and tips & tricks about PowerPoint add-In

edited February 2023 in Best Practices

General information

  • We have listed below some of the best practices we recommend for the Anaplan product. These are based on our experience and are subject to change as we deliver new functionalities and learn more about how our customers use the product.
  • If you would like to contribute or comment, please contribute to this forum post.
  • You do not have to apply these best practices; we will still support you if you don’t follow them. These are recommendations and there are times when it may make sense to do things in a different way.

About this article

We focus on how to set up your Anaplan model and your connections with the PowerPoint add-in for performance and reliability.

Best practices

1 Performance of the add-ins

The performance of our add-in has largely improved compared to the classic version (PowerPoint add-in 1.4) as a result of a technology change.

The performance can be impacted by multiple factors:

  • Machine (in particular the available RAM).

  • Network connection speed.

  • Number of connections to refresh.

  • Size of the connection (number of dimensions and cells).

  • Type of element (grid, chart or text for PowerPoint).

Please find below some indicative performance information in our testing conditions.


ppt perf.png

2 Setting your Anaplan model and views for performance

Try and minimize the amount of data you retrieve with the add-in in order to ensure great performance. If you want to retrieve a small amount of data from a large module, you might want to create a separate module just for the add-in.

3 Naming convention

There is no way to identify which modules or views are used by the add-in in Anaplan.

If you make changes to a module or a saved view that is used by the add-in, you may risk breaking your connection. Although small changes are well handled by the add-in (new list item or line item for example), bigger changes like a change in dimensionality cannot be dealt with automatically.

It is recommended that you use a specific naming convention to indicate that a view or module is used by the add-in (for instance P&L_report_PPT to indicate it is used by the PowerPoint add-in). You can also mention this in the “notes” column but it is less visible.

4 Interaction with other add-ins

If you are using other add-ins, you may be experiencing conflict between those and the Anaplan add-in. It is not possible for Anaplan to test the interactions with all the other add-ins available in the market. If you face issues, we can investigate it if you raise a ticket with Anaplan Support.

If the workbooks tend to crash with the add-in, one workaround is to turn the add-in off (via PowerPoint Options -> Add-ins) when not actively using the add-in (i.e. during other PowerPoint work).

5 Do not delete models

The connections you create using the add-in are based on the model ID. Therefore if you delete a model, the model ID is lost, and you will lose your add-in connections.

As a result, you will have to rebuild your files entirely. We recommend that you simply archive models instead of deleting them. This way, they can be unarchived easily if you need them back, they don’t take any space and their model ID is conserved.

6 Multiple data formats in the same line item

In Anaplan, data formatting applies to each line item. Therefore, you cannot apply two different formats to the same line item. This may be an issue if you are using line item subsets and would like to report this module with relevant number formats.


You could create a "number transformation" module, with formulae that transform the number values into text values following the logic you want to apply.


Finally, connect your PowerPoint Add-in to this module.

7 Creating butterfly reports

Typically, tables consist of list members on rows above and columns on the left of the data grid. An example of butterfly report is when a list (as a column) is located between two columns of data cells.


Butterfly report.png

The PowerPoint Add-in doesn't have any native functionality to display the "cost" column on the left in this instance. Follow these steps as a workaround:

  1. Create the standard report view with the PowerPoint Add-in by creating a table A connected to your module
  2. Create a new module in Anaplan, dimensioned by a line item subset (to collect the cost data) and a numbered list for which the display name is empty.MagaliP_0-1595586978510.png
  3. Create a table B with the PowerPoint Add-in, connected to this module
  4. Adjust the position of this table so it is displayed on the left of your table A
  5. Reduce the width of the first column in table B to the minimum
  6. Optionally, apply PowerPoint table formatting, for example, to hide the borders of your tables according to your desired formats

Author Magali Pelissier.