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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Dynamically Link an Excel Spreadsheet into a Word 2010 Document

There are times when you’re working in both Word and Excel where you’d like the data that you’re using in Excel to appear in your word document as a table, but you’d also like any changes you make to the Excel sheet to be automatically updated in your Word document. This is possible using dynamic links with OLE objects.

To see how this works, first open and create a simple Excel spreadsheet, in this example, we’ll use this simple example sheet:

Beginning Data Sheet

Next, open a blank Word document and type in a heading for your table, then press the Enter to make room for it, such as we’ve done here:

Empty Word Doc

Next, go back to Excel and highlight, then copy the whole table minus the heading.

Highlighted Data

Then, move back to Word again, and click below where you wrote your heading; then, click on the Paste down arrow on the main Word ribbon:

Past Special Main Menu

Choose Paste Special, you should get something that looks like this:

Paste Special Choices

Select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object from the list of options, and then check the bubble that says Paste-Link.

Then click on the Ok button and the spreadsheet data you copied should be placed into your Word document as a table.

Data Inputted into Word Table

To show yourself that it’s linked, go back to the Excel sheet and change the contents of one of the cells:

Data Changed in Excel

Note: In this example the bottom numbers are sums of the columns above them, thus when one cell of data is changed, the new summation is automatically calculated at the bottom.

…then go back to Word again, and you should see that the data in your Word document table has also changed to the new cell contents in the Excel sheet.

Dat Changed Automaticaly in Word

When you link an object in Word with an outside OLE source, you are physically linking them; to see this in action, go back your Excel document and save it to your hard drive; the name you give it doesn’t matter. Then, close down Excel.

Next, go back to your word document and double click on the table you created with the Excel sheet; you should see that doing so causes Excel to launch with the saved sheet. And furthermore, you should notice that if you once again change some of the data in your sheet, it should also be changed in your Word document.

That’s how you dynamically link an Excel sheet to a Word table.

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