Link Excel Worksheets: MS Word

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The Paste Special command can also be used to link an Excel worksheet.

In contract to embedding, linking sets up a link between the worksheet cells in the document and the original Excel worksheet source. The MS Word document holds an image of the Excel worksheet and a shortcut to it but not an actual copy of the worksheet. Because of the link, any changes in the original are automatically reflected in the MS Word document.

The advantage to linking the worksheet is that if the source worksheet in Excel changes, the values are automatically updated in the Word document. If you make a change in the numbers, text, formatting, or formulas, the document will reflect those changes immediately. This saves you the trouble of having to import the updated sheet into MS Word all over again.

Link Excel Data as a Table

Before you can establish a link between Excel and Word, the original Excel workbook must be saved. With both Word and Excel open, copy the Excel cells as usual. Switch to Word, and place the insertion point where you want to link the cells. To establish the link, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Edit | Paste Special.
  2. Click the Paste Link option on the left side of the dialog box.
  3. In the As section, click Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object.
  4. Click OK.

The cells of the worksheet appear in the document surrounded by sizing handles, like a picture. If the Excel sheet changes, the new numbers are automatically updated in the Word document.

Modify a Linked Excel Object

Just as with an embedded worksheet object, you must first double-click the linked worksheet to use Excel to make changes.

Unlike what happens with an embedded worksheet, when you double-click a linked worksheet, the original source worksheet opens in Excel, rather than within the Word document.

Here you can make any changes to the formulas, formatting, text, or numbers. Immediately, your changes appear in the Word document as well. Of course, you need to save the changes in Excel to make the changes permanent in both Word and Excel.

Another way to link or embed an Excel worksheet is to use the Insert | Object command to open the Object dialog box. Click the Create from File tab and browse to locate the file. Select the check box to Link to File to establish a link, or leave the check box blank to embed. This displays the entire worksheet in the document.

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