Microsoft PowerPoint offers a variety of charts and graphs that you can add to your presentations. These charts will mostly appear as static images on your slides though you can use PowerPoint’s built-in animation tools to add some movement and interactivity.

For instance, if you have have added a bar chart on one of you slides, you may apply custom animations to the chart such that each of the bars appear on screen with a fade or, say, a wipe. This support page has more details on how you can animate charts in PowerPoint.

Animated charts, if done well, can help you grab the attention of your live audience. With PowerPoint, you can add some basic animations to your charts but the workflow is not as easy as you would like it to be.

If you are therefore looking for an alternate charting tool that’s more intuitive and one that can generate impressive animated charts but in considerable less amount of time, try oomfo.

Oomfo is a free plug-in that lets you create Adobe Flash based animated charts right inside your copy of Microsoft PowerPoint. It supports all the recent versions of Microsoft Office including Office 2010.

It uses a simple wizard – choose a chart type, type the data into the wizard (or you can copy-paste cells from Excel) and it will then insert the chart into your current PowerPoint slide as a Flash (SWF) object. You can place the chart anywhere on the slide or even resize it just like a regular image based chart.

What you see above is a video of a sample PowerPoint chart that was created using Oomfo.

The chart animation plays as soon as the slide appears on the screen and then you can use your mouse pointer to highlight the various data points, something which is not that easy to accomplish in standard PowerPoint.