Link or embed data

Which Office program are you using?


Word

When you use Office, you have several ways to share information among applications. Copying and pasting is one way, but you can also link information so that it is updated automatically or embed the information so that it is updated only when you manually update it by opening the file. You can also link to a portion of a file — for example, a few cells in an Excel sheet — by using a linked object.

ShowAdvantages and disadvantages of linking vs. embedding

Linking Embedding
Updates information automatically Makes it easy to open the application that the embedded information was created in
Keeps file sizes small Results in file sizes that are larger than those with linked information
Requires both files to be accessible to view the information Requires both files to be accessible to update the information, but not to view it
Is not suitable if you want to distribute the file online Is suitable if you want to distribute the file online because all the information is contained in one file

ShowLink information between Word and Excel files

If you maintain data in an Excel file and related information in a Word file, you can link the information to make updating easier. For example, suppose that you want to link the latest sales returns to your monthly status report. The status report is a Word document, and the sales returns are on an Excel sheet. By linking the document and the sheet, the status report updates automatically whenever the sales returns are updated. Or, you might want to insert instructions from a Word document into several Excel files. By using a link, you can update the instructions, and the updates appear in all the Excel files.

  1. Click where you want to insert the link.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Object, and then click From File.
  3. Locate and click the file that you want to link to.

 Tip   To have readers see only an icon that they can click to display the information, select the Display as Icon check box.

  1. Select the Link to File check box, and then click Insert if you are using Word, or click OK if you are using Excel.

ShowEdit linked information

  1. On the Edit menu, click Links.

If the Links command is unavailable, your file does not contain linked information.

  1. Under Source File, click the linked file, and then click Open Source.
  2. Make the changes that you want.
  3. On the File menu, click Save to save your changes, and then close the application.

Notice that the file that has the link contains the changes.

ShowEmbed information from one file in a different file

If you want the two files to remain connected but you do not want the main file to update when the other file is changed, you can embed the information. For example, if you don't want the status report to change when the Excel sheet changes or you do not want the Excel sheet to change when the instructions change, you can embed information. Because the information is totally contained in one file, embedding is useful when you want to distribute an online version of your file to people who don't have access to the embedded file.

  1. Click where you want to embed the file.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Object, and then click From File.
  3. Locate and click the file that you want to embed.

If you embed an Excel sheet, it must be the first sheet in the workbook.

 Tip   To have readers see only an icon that they can click to display the information, select the Display as Icon check box.

  1. Clear the Link to File check box, and then click Insert if you are using Word, or click OK if you are using Excel.

ShowEdit embedded information

  1. Click the embedded file.
  2. On the Edit menu, point to [type of object] Object, for example, Worksheet Object, and then click Edit.
  3. Make the changes that you want.
  4. On the File menu, click Close & Return to [name of file].

Notice that the embedded file contains your changes.

ShowCopy information from one file and paste it as a linked objectCopy information from one file and paste it as an embedded object

You can link to part of a file. For example, in a monthly status report, you might want to link to a specific range of cells from an Excel sheet instead of the entire sheet.For example, you might want to link to specific instructions from a Word document instead of the entire document.

  1. Select the information that you want to paste — for example, a range of cells on an Excel sheet.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  3. Switch to the other file, and then click where you want the information to appear.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special, and then click Paste link.
  5. In the As box, click the type of object, for example, Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object, and then click OK.

See also

Create, edit, or remove a hyperlink

PowerPoint

When you use Office, you have several ways to share information among applications. Copying and pasting is one way, but you can also embed the information so that it is updated only when you manually update it by opening the file. Because the information is contained in one PowerPoint presentation, embedding is useful when you want to distribute an online version of your presentation to people who don't have access to the embedded file. You can also embed a portion of a file — for example, a few cells in an Excel sheet — by using an embedded object.

ShowEmbed information from one file in a different file

If you want the two files to remain connected but you do not want the main file to update when the other file is changed, you can embed the information. For example, suppose that you want to embed the latest sales returns in your monthly status report. The status report is a PowerPoint presentation, and the sales returns are on an Excel sheet. By embedding the sheet in a presentation, the two files remain connected.

  1. Click where you want to embed the file.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Object, and then click Create from file.
  3. Locate and click the file that you want to embed.

If you embed an Excel sheet, it must be the first sheet in the workbook.

  1. Click Insert, and then click OK.

If you can't see the information in the embedded file, drag a sizing handle (sizing handle: A square or round handle that appears at each corner and along the sides of the rectangle that surrounds a selected object. You drag a sizing handle to resize an object.) until you see the file contents.

ShowEdit embedded information

  1. Click the embedded file.
  2. On the Edit menu, point to [type of object] Object, for example, Worksheet Object, and then click Edit.
  3. Make the changes that you want.
  4. On the File menu, click Close & Return to [name of file].

Notice that the embedded file contains your changes.

ShowCopy information from one file and paste it as a linked objectCopy information from one file and paste it as an embedded object

You can embed part of a file. For example, in a monthly status report, you might want to embed a specific range of cells from an Excel sheet instead of the entire sheet.

  1. Select the information that you want to paste — for example, a range of cells on an Excel sheet.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  3. Switch to the other file, and then click where you want the information to appear.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special.
  5. In the Paste As box, click the type of object, for example, Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object, and then click OK.

See also

Create, edit, or remove a hyperlink

Excel

When you use Office, you have several ways to share information among applications. Copying and pasting is one way, but you can also link information so that it is updated automatically or embed the information so that it is updated only when you manually update it by opening the file. You can also link to a portion of a file — for example, a few sentences in a Word document — by using a linked object.

ShowAdvantages and disadvantages of linking vs. embedding

Linking Embedding
Updates information automatically Makes it easy to open the application that the embedded information was created in
Keeps file sizes small Results in file sizes that are larger than those with linked information
Requires both files to be accessible to view the information Requires both files to be accessible to update the information, but not to view it
Is not suitable if you want to distribute the file online Is suitable if you want to distribute the file online because all the information is contained in one file

ShowLink information between Word and Excel files

If you maintain data in an Excel file and related information in a Word file, you can link the information to make updating easier. For example, suppose that you want to link the latest sales returns to your monthly status report. The status report is a Word document, and the sales returns are on an Excel sheet. By linking the document and the sheet, the status report updates automatically whenever the sales returns are updated. Or, you might want to insert instructions from a Word document into several Excel files. By using a link, you can update the instructions, and the updates appear in all the Excel files.

  1. Click where you want to insert the link.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Object, and then click From File.
  3. Locate and click the file that you want to link to.

 Tip   To have readers see only an icon that they can click to display the information, select the Display as Icon check box.

  1. Select the Link to File check box, and then click Insert if you are using Word, or click OK if you are using Excel.

ShowEdit linked information

  1. On the Edit menu, click Links.

If the Links command is unavailable, your file does not contain linked information.

  1. Under Source File, click the linked file, and then click Open Source.
  2. Make the changes that you want.
  3. On the File menu, click Save to save your changes, and then close the application.

Notice that the file that has the link contains the changes.

ShowEmbed information from one file in a different file

If you want the two files to remain connected but you do not want the main file to update when the other file is changed, you can embed the information. For example, if you don't want the status report to change when the Excel sheet changes or you do not want the Excel sheet to change when the instructions change, you can embed information. Because the information is totally contained in one file, embedding is useful when you want to distribute an online version of your file to people who don't have access to the embedded file.

  1. Click where you want to embed the file.
  2. On the Insert menu, click Object, and then click From File.
  3. Locate and click the file that you want to embed.

If you embed an Excel sheet, it must be the first sheet in the workbook.

 Tip   To have readers see only an icon that they can click to display the information, select the Display as Icon check box.

  1. Clear the Link to File check box, and then click Insert if you are using Word, or click OK if you are using Excel.

ShowEdit embedded information

  1. Click the embedded file.
  2. On the Edit menu, point to [type of object] Object, for example, Worksheet Object, and then click Edit.
  3. Make the changes that you want.
  4. On the File menu, click Close & Return to [name of file].

Notice that the embedded file contains your changes.

ShowCopy information from one file and paste it as a linked objectCopy information from one file and paste it as an embedded object

You can link to part of a file. For example, you might want to link to a specific range of cells from an Excel sheet instead of the entire sheet.

  1. Select the information that you want to paste — for example, a few sentences in a Word document.
  2. On the Edit menu, click Copy.
  3. Switch to the other file, and then click where you want the information to appear.
  4. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special, and then click Paste link.
  5. In the As box, click the type of object, for example, Microsoft Word Document Object, and then click OK.

See also

Create, edit, or remove a hyperlink

 
 
Applies to:
Excel for Mac 2011, PowerPoint for Mac 2011, Word for Mac 2011