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Excel 2010: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald

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Transferring Data

With embedding and linking, two or more programs work together to create a compound document. However, even though the different objects appear side-by-side, different programs actually own them. When you embed an Excel table in a Word document, you can't spruce up any text in your table by using Word's built-in grammar checker.

Furthermore, sometimes the program you're embedding an object into can just as easily create the object you've inserted. Consider, for example, a typical Word document, which supports all the same formatting options as Excel, and can organize information into a grid perfectly well by using its table-creation features.

In such cases, you could transfer raw data, rather than objects. So instead of embedding a worksheet object inside Word, you could simply copy Excel's formatted worksheet data, and then move it into Word. You do lose the ability to update the information with Excel, but you gain a few benefits as well:

  • You can edit the data directly in Word without needing access to Excel.

  • You can edit the data quickly and more conveniently. This ability is particularly important if you want to format the data to match the rest of your document.

  • The file is smaller than it would be if you used an embedded object.

  • You avoid accidentally modifying information if you change the source worksheet (as you would if you used a linked object).

For these reasons, it's worth carefully considering whether you should copy a full-fledged worksheet object, or just ...

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