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How to Insert an Excel Spreadsheet into a Microsoft Word Document


Spreadsheets are inserted into Word documents using something called Object Linking and Embedding. Object Linking and Embedding (or OLE), can be a complicated subject, but basically it's used when you want to insert something from one programme into another programme. The example you're going to see will embed a spreadsheet chart into Microsoft Word.

You have two choices when you want to embed something from Excel into another programme - to use linking, or embedding. If you use linking, you can update the data in Excel and see the changes in the other programme; if you use embedding, any changes you make to Excel will not show up in the other programme.

First, here's how to create a Linked Object. The two programmes used will be Excel and Word. So if you have Microsoft Word and Excel, open up both programmes.

In Excel, create the following spreadsheet:

All the spreadsheet does is multiply whatever is in cell E1 by 12. The answer goes in cell E3. (This example is not terribly functional: you wouldn't really want to use OLE with this particular spreadsheet. But it's easy to create, and will serve as an example of how to use Linking.)

  • Once you have created your spreadsheet, highlight from A1 to E3
  • With your data highlighted, click on Edit form the menu bar
  • From the drop down menu, click on Copy
  • Switch to Microsoft Word
  • In Microsoft Word, click on Edit from the menu bar
  • From the drop down menu, click on Paste Special
  • A dialogue box pops up in Word like the one below:

The Paste Special dialogue box

  • In the main list box, click on Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object
  • Of the two Option buttons on the left, Paste and Paste Link, choose Paste Link by clicking on it.
  • Click the OK button at the top

Word now goes to work and embeds your spreadsheet into the Word processed document. Because we chose Paste Link, we will be able to view any updates made from Excel. The Word document should look like the one below:

The Word document

To see that it really does update in Word, do this:

  • Go back to your Excel spreadsheet
  • Click inside cell E1
  • Type in the number 7
  • Press the Return key on your keyboard
  • The number 84 should appear in cell E3
  • Switch back to Microsoft Word and view the results
  • The Word document will now look like this

As you can see, the numbers from the Excel spreadsheet are now in the Word document. The link worked!

If you don't want Word updating the embedded object, you would select Paste instead of Paste Link from the Paste Special dialogue box. Everything else is the same.

Things like Charts and Pivot Tables are the ones usually embedded into a Word document, all ready for the company presentation.


In the next part, we'll see how to reference formulas and data on other worksheets

Learn how to reference formulas and data on other worksheets -->

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