Link Excel Data as a Table: MS Word

Dennis Faas's picture

Another method for linking Excel places the worksheet cells in a Word table. To do this, you insert the Excel selection as HTML (the universal text format used on the Web).

Linking Excel data as a table offers two advantages:

  • You format it using the familiar techniques you use with any Word table. Of course, you wouldn't want to change the numbers (although you could). Changes you make in the table do not affect the Excel workbook though.
  • The information is lined so that it automatically reflects any changes made in the original Excel worksheet. Links are automatically updated when you open the Word document the next time.

Before you can establish a link between Excel and Word, the original Excel sheet must be saved. With both Word and Excel open, copy the cells as usual, switch to Word, and place the insertion point where you want to establish the link.

To establish the link, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Edit | Paste Special.
  2. Choose the Paste Link option.
  3. In the 'As' section, choose the default option, HTML Format.
  4. Click OK.

The cells of the worksheet are inserted into a Word table. Because the information is linked, it appears gray, although it won't appear gray when you print it. If the original Excel sheet changes, the new figures are automatically shown in the Word table.

Modify Linked Excel Worksheets in a Table

You can't just double-click this time, because the worksheet has become a Word table. Instead, follow these steps:

  1. Place the insertion point anywhere within the table containing the linked data.
  2. Choose Edit | Linked worksheet Object and select Open Link.
  3. Make changes to the Excel worksheet.

The original source worksheet opens in Excel. Here you can make any changes to the formulas, formatting, text, or numbers. Your changes show immediately in the Word document.

When changes may have occurred in the source Excel worksheet, you can manually update the Word table to get the latest information. Choose Edit | Links and click Update Now. This dialog box is also useful if the source gets moved and you need to point the link to the Excel file's new location.

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