Links Create Up-To-The-Minute Data Charts


Q. I make written presentations to my board of directors, and rather than give them just a spreadsheet chart, I’d like to give them a comprehensive report that includes charts created from the most recently updated spreadsheet data. However, that means I have to transfer the data from the spreadsheet to the Word document at the last minute and that puts too much time pressure on me. Any ideas?

A. Today’s office suite technology makes that chore relatively easy. I’ll show you how to embed the spreadsheet chart directly into the Word document and then create a link between the two so any time the underlying spreadsheet numbers change—and you indicated they will be updated at the last minute—the chart in Word will reflect those changes automatically.

Begin by opening both your Excel spreadsheet file and your Word file. I assume you’ve already created the chart in your Excel worksheet. Highlight the chart (be sure you’ve captured the entire chart—not just a portion of it), and copy it (Ctrl+C) to the Clipboard. Now switch to the Word file and place your cursor where you want the chart positioned. Instead of using the normal Paste function (Ctrl+V), go up to the toolbar and click Edit, Paste Special . That will evoke this Paste Special dialog box.

Highlight Microsoft Excel Chart Object and select Paste link . Click OK to copy the linked chart into your document; it will update automatically whenever the Excel numbers are changed.

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