Linking Excel and Word
May 30, 2005 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Is there some way to link an Excel spreadsheet and Word document such that a portion of the Word document will update automatically from changes in the Excel file?

I realize this probably takes an external program/script of some kind. Basically it's for desseminating daily data points into files that go out for viewing by the general public (we're at a weather observatory). It would save time to not have to update two files every time. Help me, AskMe!
posted by nelleish to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Try this.
posted by xyzzy at 3:28 PM on May 30, 2005

From my experience, this sort of dynamic linking works best when the number of documents and links is kept small. Large documents with lots of links seem to introduce instability. Plan your work, save frequently, and kept multiple versions as you go.
posted by SPrintF at 3:39 PM on May 30, 2005

You may want to look into a mail merge perhaps from an excel file. It's the same concept as importing in common fields for a letter, but you can pretty much do it for any document. Your Word help file should help you with it.

I do agree with SPrintF about the size of the documents that you have available. If this file is updated in the future by anyone else, he or she may not understand the linking portion of the document and disregard it.

As for webpages, you may just want to dynamically link an access database into your webpage. This can be down via Frontpage or you can hard code and use other databases as well.
posted by huy_le at 6:14 PM on May 30, 2005

Try posting a detailed explanation of what you want on the message board at Someone will do it for you.
posted by bingo at 6:21 PM on May 30, 2005

Best answer: I realize this probably takes an external program/script of some kind

No, it does not. This functionality has existed in Word for some time. The link that xyzzy provided has details. Or you can simply look in the help file of Word. In the 2003 version, this is found under:

Insert information by creating a linked object or embedded object, and reads:

1. Open both the Microsoft Word document and the Microsoft Excel worksheet that contains the data you want to create a linked object or embedded object from.

2. Switch to Microsoft Excel, and then select the entire worksheet, a range of cells, or the chart you want.

3. Click Copy .

4. Switch to the Word document, and then click where you want the information to appear.

5. On the Edit menu, click Paste Special.

6. To link or embed the object, do one of the following:
* To create a linked object, click Paste link.
* To create an embedded object, click Paste.

7. In the As box, click the entry with the word "object" in its name. For example, click Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object.

[There is more - see the help file instructions. In previous versions of Word, the procedure may vary slightly.

This has nothing to do with mail merge.
posted by WestCoaster at 8:40 PM on May 30, 2005

Response by poster: Of course the answer is in the obvious place, already in the help file. Being an intern, I sort of assumed those sorts of solutions would have already been explored (thinking about needing an external program was the place they were at) but one should always check. Thanks everyone!
posted by nelleish at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2005

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