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Excel 2003: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Embedding and Linking Objects

Embedding and linking are two tools that let you build compound documents , which contain content from two or more applications. For example, you might have a Word file that contains an Excel worksheet. You can save this document as one file and print it as one document, but you need to use both programs to edit its content. Figure 22-1 shows a couple of examples.

Top: So what do compound documents actually look like? In general, embedded and linked objects look like any other object you use in your document. For example, if you embed an Excel chart inside a Word document, the document looks just as it would if you had used Word's Insert → Picture feature to place a picture of the chart in your document. The chart is stored in a floating box, and the document's text flows around it. Bottom: If you embed a Word document inside an Excel worksheet, you get a similar but slightly less practical result. In this case, the Word document is contained inside a floating box, just like a chart or image. You can move it wherever you want.

Figure 22-1.  Top: So what do compound documents actually look like? In general, embedded and linked objects look like any other object you use in your document. For example, if you embed an Excel chart inside a Word document, the document looks just as it would if you had used Word's Insert Picture feature to place a picture of the chart in your document. The chart is stored in a floating box, and the document's text flows around it. Bottom: If you embed a Word document inside an Excel worksheet, you get a similar but slightly less practical result. In this case, the Word document is contained inside a floating box, just like a chart or image. You can move it wherever you want.

Embedding and linking are really two different, but related, concepts.

  • Embedding means that a copy of one document is physically stored inside the other. For example, if you embed an Excel chart in a Word document, the Word (.doc) file contains all the Word document content and all the Excel worksheet data.

  • Linking means ...

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