Embed Excel Worksheets in a Table: MS Word

Dennis Faas's picture

Rather than just pasting raw numbers into a table, you can embed a worksheet into a document.

Embedding retains the formulas that ride behind your numbers and all the functionality of Excel. You can create an Excel worksheet from scratch, or, if the worksheet already exists, you can insert it using the Paste Special command.

Although an embedded worksheet behaves as a picture in the document, when you double-click to modify it, Excel opens within MS Word, allowing you to use Excel's formulas to calculate results.

One drawback to embedding an Excel worksheet is that it increases the file size of the MS Word document.

Sometimes you don't want to lose the formulas in Excel that were used to calculate the numbers. Other times, you want to be able to go back into the worksheet and do some sophisticated calculations. Embedding allows you to retain Excel's functionality.

Creating an Embedded Worksheet

You can create a new, embedded worksheet in a document by clicking the Insert Microsoft Excel Worksheet button on the Standard toolbar and dragging to define the number of columns and rows, the same way you use the Insert Table button.

A blank worksheet is inserted into the document, ready for you to enter data and make calculations. The worksheet is surrounded by a heavy border, and the normal MS Word menus and toolbars are replaced by Excel's menus and toolbars, even though you can see by the title bar and the surrounding document that you are still inside Word.

Even though you're using Excel, the worksheet is contained completely within Word. No separate Excel file exists. Click outside the worksheet to return to the document and restore Word's menus and toolbars.

Using the Paste Special Feature

With both Word and Excel open, copy the cells as usual, switch to Word, and place the insertion point where you want the cells to appear. Instead of pasting, however, follow these steps:

  1. Choose Edit | Paste Special. The Paste Special dialog box appears.
  2. If necessary, click the Paste option on the left side of the dialog box.
  3. In the As section, click Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object. (The other choices simply insert the cells as picture, text or HTML, without retaining Excel's formulas.
  4. Click OK.

The selected worksheet cells appear in the document surrounded by sizing handles, like a picture. The formulas and formatting are the same as in the original Excel worksheet. Although just the selected cells are displayed, a copy of the complete Excel workbook is contained within the Word document. Changes to the original Excel file will not affect the copy contained in the document.

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