How to link Word and Excel spreadsheets

Excel and Word are two programs from the Microsoft Office suite that serve different purposes. While Word is designed for word processing, Excel is used for calculations and data processing.

However, it is often necessary to insert a table into a Word document. This can be done by either creating the table directly in Word or by inserting a table from Excel. Did you know that it’s possible to link individual table cells in Excel with Word? This allows you to make changes to a table in Excel and have the results automatically updated in Word. With this feature, you can let Word and Excel do some of the work for you while you sit back and relax.

Create a table in Word

To create a table in Word, switch to the “Insert” tab at the top and find the “Table” option here. With one click you call up a drop-down menu. You can either quickly set the number of columns and rows here by using the table field or click on “Insert table” to enter precise information.

If you have clicked on “Insert table” you can specify the number of columns and rows and select the column width in this window. With “Ok” you confirm your information. You can then optically format your table in Word so that it is as easy to read as possible and gives a quick overview.

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ExcelWord_insert table.jpg

To format the Word table, click on the “Design” tab in the newly created “Table Tools” tab, which only appears when your cursor is in a table field.

ExcelWord_FormatTable.jpg

How to insert an Excel spreadsheet into Word

To insert an Excel spreadsheet into Word, open the Excel file containing the spreadsheet you want to insert. Select the table or the section of the table that you want to insert into Word and copy it with CTRL+C.

ExcelWord_ExcelTable.jpg

Next, open the Word document where you want to paste the table, place the cursor where you want the table to appear, and paste it with CTRL+V. The table now inserted has the same formatting as in the Excel file. To edit them, switch back to the “Design” tab under “Table tools” and select one of the table styles.

ExcelWord_inserttable.jpg

Once you have inserted the table into Word, you can only edit it using the Word functions. The Excel functions are only available in Excel. If you paste the table into Word this way, you’ll have to manually update any changes you make to the table in Excel into Word.

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Link an Excel spreadsheet to Word

You can also link the table in Word to Excel so that you don’t have to manually update every change you make to the table in Excel in Word. This function is incredibly useful if, for example, you want to present a new document every month that only contains updated data.

To link a table in Word with Excel, select the table again in Excel and copy it with CTRL+C. In Word, click on the small arrow under “Paste” in the “Home” tab. From this drop-down menu, select the “Paste Special” option.

The “Paste Special” window opens. In this window, you will find the options “Paste” and “Paste link” on the left side of the window. To have the values of the Excel table updated in Word, click on the button next to “Paste link.” In the menu window, select the “Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object” option and confirm your selection with “Ok.”

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Now, all your changes in the Excel spreadsheet will be updated in Word. However, it doesn’t work the other way around, if you change values in the table in Word, they will not be transferred to Excel.

Quick guide: Insert Excel spreadsheet into Word

  1. Open the Word document in which you want to insert the table and the Excel file the table came from
  2. Mark the table in Excel and copy it
  3. Paste the table into Word at the desired location

Quick guide: Link Excel spreadsheet to Word

  1. Open the Word document where you want to display the worksheet and the Excel worksheet that contains the data you want to link to the Word document.
  2. In Excel, select and copy the range of cells to include.
  3. In the Word document, position the cursor where you want to insert the linked table.
  4. Right-click and select Link & Use Destination Styles or Link & Keep Source Formatting.
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