Spreadsheet Design:
Object: Link or Icon

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
Did you want Working with Numbers: 2007,2010,2013,2016  or españolIcon: Change web

You can link your spreadsheet data to a pasted object in Word, or another program. If the original data changes, the Word document will change, too. This is powerful stuff!

Unlike an embedded object, a linked object will open in the original program. You can not edit in place.

Click on illustrationClick on the illustration to see how an object in Word (Grade Calculator) that is linked  to an Excel sheet changes when you double-click it to switch to editing.

Grades Calculator linked to Word doc

If nothing happens when you click, you can view the images on this page.

A linked object opens in its original program for editing. The destination document updates with every change you make. This is pretty nifty!

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Numbers

Before you start...

Project 1: Excel IntroTo subtopics

Project 2: Excel BasicsTo subtopics    

Project 3: Format & ArrangeTo subtopics

Project 4: Groups & FormulasTo subtopics

Project 5: Design
    Analysis To subtopics
    What If...To subtopics
    Logical TestsTo subtopics
    Sharing Data To subtopics
    FootprintDocument Properties
    ExercisesTo subtopics



When the document is going to be viewed on a computer, you don't even have to show the linked data at all. You can show an clickable icon instead. Clicking the icon opens the document in the original program.

Icon Step-by-Step

Step-by-Step: Link/Icon

 Icon Step-by-Step

What you will learn:

to link a sheet in a Word document
to manage formatting issues with a linked sheet
to edit a linked object
to link with an icon

Start with: Class disk trips37.xls (saved in previous lesson) and sharedata.doc (saved in previous lesson)

You will continue building your Word document, adding another method of sharing data from Excel.

Link: Create object

  1. Dialog: Paste Special | Paste Link - chartClass diskOpen sharedata.doc from your Class disk in the excel project5 folder.
  2. With the cursor on the line below the embedded chart, type  Linked  and press ENTER. Apply Heading 2 style.
  3. Switch to (or open) Excel with trips37.xls open and copy the Tickets Sold chart again. The window may have resized when you opened the embedded chart in the previous lesson. Return to Word.
  4. Select  Edit  | Paste Special… |  Paste link .
    If you don't have the Paste link choice, go back to Excel, unselect the chart and reselect it.
  5. Excel 97If you are using Excel 97, check the box for Float over text.
  6. Click OK.

    The chart is inserted as a linked object. Is it all there? If you worked straight from the last lesson, the resized window may have chopped off the top of the original chart and it is missing here, too.

  7. Delete the linked chart, switch to Excel, resize the window to show the whole chart, select it and copy it. Return to Word.
  8. Again,  Edit  | Paste Special… |  Paste link .
  9. Resize the pasted chart to about the same size as the first one above it.  Now you've got it!

Link: Edit

  1. Popup Menu: Linked Worksheet ObjectRight click on the new chart. The popup menu shows it to be a  Linked Worksheet Object .
  2. Select  Linked Worksheet Object  |  Edit Link . Excel opens the source for you to make changes.

    The Open Link command seems to do the same thing.

    Preview: sharing datas - 2 charts

  3. Format the data series for the chart to use Light Turquoise fill. The hourglass may be up for longer than usual as Excel not only changes the chart here but also updates the copy in share data.doc.

    This time the File menu does not show new commands, so do not close the document yet.

  4. Switch back to Word. Your second chart is already updated to show your change.
  5. (If the chart changed size, resize it... again.)

  6. Class diskSave. [sharedata.doc]
    The next time you open this document your linked object may change to match the source in formatting or size. If you have this problem, you will need to size the original in order for the linked object to be the size you want.

Icon: Create

  1. Dialog: Paste Special | Paste - chartSwitch to Excel and copy the chart again. Return to Word.
  2. Create enough blank lines to get one below the last chart. (You may need to drag the third chart back up again.
  3. On the line below the third chart, type  Icon  and press ENTER.
  4. Use  Paste Special…  |  Paste  and choose Microsoft Excel Chart Object . Check the box for Display as Icon.
    Excel 97If you are using Excel 97, check the box for Float over text. 

    Linked as iconAn icon appears on the page instead of the chart.

  5. Double-click the icon to open a window displaying the chart.

    Clearly this method is of no use in a printed document but it's quite useful on the screen

    Icon: Excel 2002Excel 2002 puts a gray background around the icon object. This shows that it is a field. The gray does not print.

  6. Icon for Excel chart - hatched outReturn to Word.
    Icono: ProblemaProblem: Icon has diagonal lines

    Not to worry! The diagonals indicate that the chart object is still open in Excel. The diagonals do not print, even if they are shown in Print Preview.
  7. Class diskSave. [sharedata.doc]

Icono: Problema Problem: File is too large to fit on disk

Cause: Microsoft documents tend to grow beyond the minimum as you work, partly due to Undo and Tracking information. The more changes you make, the bigger the file.

Solution: (Covered later in Document Properties) Save the file with a new name. At this point your file should lose all that extra data and be much smaller.