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TECHNOLOGY Q&A

Tip From a Reader: Link a Single Excel Cell Into a Word Document

 

By STANLEY ZAROWIN
DECEMBER 2010

Tom Glogau, a CPA with Grove, Mueller & Swank PC in Salem, Ore., wrote me that he has no trouble linking an Excel file to a Word document. But he was initially baffled when he tried to do the same thing with just a single cell from a worksheet. Copying the cell and clicking on Edit, Paste Special and selecting Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object and selecting Paste link didn’t work because the data wouldn’t line up properly. (Note: This applies to Office 2003. In Office 2007, Paste Special is under the Clipboard section of the Ribbon, or you could use the shortcut Ctrl + Alt + V, which will take you directly to the window displayed below. The remaining steps are the same in both versions.)

 

But with some experimenting, he discovered it can be done easily by copying the cell, going to Word, placing the cursor at the target insertion point, clicking on Edit, Paste Special and then selecting either Unformatted Unicode Text or just Unformatted Text (instead of Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object) and then clicking Paste link and OK (see screenshot below).

 

Now, when the cell value changes in the Excel spreadsheet, it will also update in the Word document the next time it is opened. (Note: For this feature to work, ensure automatic updating is enabled in Word. Go to Word Options, Advanced and scroll down to the General settings. Be sure there is a check next to Update automatic links at open.)

 

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