Link Excel and Word to store data more efficiently

Applies to
Microsoft Excel 2000
Microsoft Word 2000

You're writing a document with Word 2000, but part of the information is a big worksheet or spreadsheet created with Excel 2000. Your worksheet changes frequently and you don't want to keep wasting time by copying and pasting information manually from Excel to Word over and over again—so what can you do? Just insert a link to your Excel workbook from your Word document and your Word document is updated automatically whenever the Excel data changes.

Why link to Excel instead of using a Word table?

In Word, you can use the Formula command on the Table menu to perform simple functions, such as adding and multiplying—and even averaging. However, data that relies on complex formulas is better suited to the extensive worksheet capabilities of Excel. For example:

  • Your data involves multiple conditions for billing different customers at different rates for different kinds of services—all on the same worksheet.
  • You have to change the format of a date for clarity, consistency, and sorting. In other words, you have to change both 7/12/99 and 12-7-99 to July 12, 1999.
  • You are part of a collaborative document creation effort and you own the Word document but your colleague owns the Excel worksheet, and you both need to be in synch.

For these scenarios and others, just link to Excel! With a linked object, such as the Excel worksheet, information is updated if you modify the source file (in this case, your Excel workbook) where your linked data is stored. The destination file (your Word document) stores only the location of the source file and displays a representation of the linked data.

In addition to saving time and effort, you can save on the Word file size, and this becomes very important when you are working with large documents, such as a thesis or business proposal. Not only do you save space on your hard disk drive or on the network, but it is also easier to send smaller files across the Internet.

How do I link my Excel worksheet to my Word document?

To link to the entire worksheet, just follow these steps:

  1. After you quit Excel, position your pointer in the Word document where you want to insert the worksheet.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Object, and then click the Create from File tab.
  3. Select the Link to file check box.
  4. Type the file name, or click Browse to locate your file and then click Insert.
  5. Click OK to insert the contents of the file into your document and create a link to the Excel file.

How do I link selected cells from my Excel worksheet to my Word document?

To link to selected cells from the worksheet, just follow these steps:

  1. In Excel, select the cells to copy.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  3. In Word, position your pointer where you want to insert the cells.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special.
  5. Click Paste link.
  6. Select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object.
  7. Click OK to insert the cells into your document and create a link to the Excel file.

 Note    All data in the Excel file, not just the pasted range, may be available to the reader of the linked Word document.

How do I update the link?

After you or your colleagues make changes to the Excel worksheet and save and close the file, open the Word document. Your linked information is automatically updated. If you already have Word open and Excel is closed, just select the linked information and press F9.

What if the linked object appears cut off?

Depending on where you insert your worksheet, it may look cut off. For example, your worksheet involves 12 rows, but only 10 appear. Don't worry! You have not lost any data. To prevent part of your worksheet from appearing cut off when it is linked, follow these steps:

  1. In Excel, open the file.
  2. On the File menu, click Page Setup, and then click the Page tab.
  3. Click Fit to 1 page(s) wide by 1 tall.
  4. Click OK to save your selections.
  5. Save and close the file.
  6. Update the link, if necessary.

If the line spacing in your document is set to an exact amount that is smaller than the height of the worksheet, perform the following steps:

  1. In the Word document, select the worksheet.
  2. On the Format menu, click Paragraph, and then click the Indents and Spacing tab.
  3. In the Line spacing box, click Single. If you select Exactly, be sure to increase the point size in the At box to the height of the graphic.

If your worksheet still appears cut off, select it in the Word document so that sizing handles appear at the corners and along the edges. Drag a corner until it is the size that you desire.

How do I reposition the linked object?

When the worksheet is linked to your Word document, its default placement is in line with your text. If you want to reposition it, follow these steps:

  1. In Word, click the worksheet once to select it.
  2. On the Format menu, click Object, and then click the Layout tab.
  3. Click Advanced.
  4. On the Text Wrapping tab, select the Top and bottom wrapping style. (This is recommended; however, you may select another style.)
  5. If you want to specify the worksheet's Distance from text, use the Top and Bottom boxes or type in a distance in inches. Some elements may be dimmed, depending on the selections you make.

 Note    Don't forget that you can right-click an element in the dialog box if you need further explanation to make your selections.

  1. Click the Picture Position tab to select the worksheet's horizontal and vertical placement, as well as other options. Some elements may be dimmed, depending on the selections you make.
  2. Click OK to close the Advanced Layout dialog box and save your selections.
  3. Click OK to close the Format Object dialog box and reposition your worksheet.

More information

For related information, see Export Access reports to Word documents and XL2000: Pasting Excel Cells into Another Program May Paste Entire Workbook.