Unit 3: Advanced Spreadsheet Techniques

Lesson 11: Integrating Word and Excel

How do you copy Excel data into a Word document?
How do you link Excel data to a Word document?


We have already mentioned that a word processor is the best tool for creating a document that contains lots of prose and a spreadsheet is the best tool for creating a document that contains lots of numbers (or requires complex calculations). There may be times, though, when your document requires a tool that supports both prose and calculations. Rather than choose to use either a word processor or a spreadsheet, you can choose to use both and copy or link data between each document. For example, if you are working on a project proposal you may want to create a nicely formatted document explaining your value proposition. If you also want to include a specific budget for the work, you can create the budget in a separate spreadsheet document and copy or link some or all of your spreadsheet into your word processing document.

You can copy or link objects between documents. If you are unsure of the difference, see the related concept.

Copying Data

You have already seen how to copy simple data types (such as text) between documents. A similar procedure is used to copy complex objects such as a section of a spreadsheet or a graph. For a detailed example of copying an object from Excel to Word, see the example given in the book on pages IP1-1 through IP1-18.

The animation below shows another example. The animation shows two ways you can copy a section of a spreadsheet from Excel to Word:

  1. As formatted text – The section of the spreadsheet you are copying is converted into text within a table.
  2. As an Excel object – The section is copied as an object and retains all the properties of a spreadsheet even though it now resides within a word processing document.

Copying objects from Excel to Word (386K)

Some important notes about copying objects between documents and the above animation:

  1. The animation shows how to copy a section of a spreadsheet. Other types of objects you can copy are charts, paragraphs, and pictures.
  2. The animation shows how to copy from Excel to Word. You can also copy objects from Word to Excel.
  3. Notice that the object is pasted into the word processing document with the Edit/Paste Special... command. The default Paste command will copy the object as formatted text.
  4. Notice that when the value for kilometers in the first copy (formatted text) is changed the value for miles doesn't change. But when the value for kilometers in the second copy (spreadsheet object) is changed, the value for miles does change.
  5. Notice that changing the value in the copy has no effect on the values in the original spreadsheet.

Linking Data

The procedure for linking an object is very much like the procedure for copying an object. The key difference is selecting the option from the Edit/Paste Special... dialog box. Notice in the following animation how changes in the source document are propagated to the destination document.

Linking objects from Excel to Word (198K)

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