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Embedding and Linking to Excel Files in Word Documents
Part 1: Linking to an Excel Worksheet in a Word Document
 More of this Feature
• Part 2: Embedding an Excel Worksheet
 Related Terms
• Data Source
• Excel
• Workbook
 Related Resources
• Enabling/Disabling Picture Placeholders
• Excel and Mail Merge
• Word Tutorials

If you’re using Word to create business documents such as reports and business plans, it is inevitable that you will need to insert data created in Excel. While it is an easy process, you have to be aware of your options and the limitations inherent in each of the options.

The first option is to insert a link to an Excel worksheet in your Word document. For users who want to ensure that the information is updated every time a change is made to the spreadsheet, this is the way to go. A one-way link is created that feeds the data from Excel into the Word document. It will also keep your Word file trim, as the data itself is not actually saved with the document. It isn’t with its limitations, however:

  • If you move the Excel file you will need to re-establish the link
  • If you plan to transport the Word file for use on another computer, you will need to remember to include the Excel file
  • You must do all your editing in Excel – this generally is not a problem unless you require different formats in the Word document

If your Excel file isn’t going to change or if you need greater flexibility with your data in Word, then you should embed the worksheet in Word document. While it will increase considerably the size of your Word document, and changes you make to the source file won’t be updated in Word, you will be able to change the format of the table and the file will be easier to transport.

Linking to an Excel Worksheet
If you're using Word 2007, learn how to link to Excel data in Word 2007. To insert a link to an Excel file in earlier versions of Word, follow these simple steps:

1. Open both the Word document and the Excel spreadsheet
2. In Excel, copy the range of cells you want to include (if you plan to insert more columns or rows into your spreadsheet, select the entire worksheet by clicking the box at the juncture of the row numbers and column letters)

3. In your Word document position the cursor where you would like the table inserted
4. On the Edit menu, select Paste Special…

5. Click the radio button beside Paste link

6. Under the label As:, select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object
7. Click OK

Next: Embedding an Excel Worksheet in a Word Document
Return to Advanced Tutorials

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