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Microsoft KB Archive/105711

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Knowledge Base

WD: "Application Object" Can Be Paste Linked in Word

Article ID: 105711

Article Last Modified on 1/18/2007


  • Microsoft Word 6.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 6.0a
  • Microsoft Word 6.0c
  • Microsoft Word 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 95a
  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Word 6.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 6.01 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Word 6.01 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Excel 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 4.0a
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0 for Macintosh
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0a for Macintosh

This article was previously published under Q105711


If you copy a selection from a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, switch to Word, choose Paste Special from the Edit menu, and choose Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object, the Paste Link option is available.

Choosing to paste link a Microsoft Excel worksheet object in a Word document gives you the same result as paste linking the Picture format. This behavior is different than previous versions of Word, which did not allow the Paste Link option while Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object is selected.

This information applies to any data that is copied from an program that supports object linking and embedding (OLE). Some applications that claim to support OLE may only support embedded objects.


The differences between the Paste Special options are as follows:

  • An embedded Microsoft Excel object (with no link) is created when you choose Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object in the Paste Special dialog box and select the Paste option. An EMBED field is inserted into your document. You can change the information in the object by double-clicking the object, which launches Microsoft Excel with a COPY of the original spreadsheet and allows you to modify the data as it appears in Word. The "native" Microsoft Excel data, used by Microsoft Excel when editing, is stored in your Word document. The original spreadsheet, if it was ever saved to a Microsoft Excel file, is not affected.
  • A linked (NOT embedded) object is created when you select any of the available formats and choose Paste Link. Word inserts a LINK field to represent the linked object. The \a switch is inserted into the field to indicate automatic update. LINK fields can have the following format switches:

          Switch   Description
          \a       Updates the LINK field automatically
                   (delete the \a switch for manual updating)
          \b       Inserts the linked object as a Bitmap
          \d       Graphic data is not stored with the document,
                   reducing the file size.
          \p       Inserts the linked object as a Picture
          \r       Inserts the linked object in rich-text format
          \t       Insert the linked object in text-only text

    All formats except Picture (\p) are inserted with a \*MERGEFORMAT switch. When this switch is added to a LINK field, the font size and style, borders, and dimensions of the object do not change to match the formatting in the source Microsoft Excel spreadsheet when you update the object.

    Updating the text in the original spreadsheet updates the linked information in your Word document. If you modify the information in the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet while the Word document is closed, Word will automatically update the sheet when you open your document. To disable this feature, choose Options from the Tools menu, select the General tab, and clear Update Automatic Links at Open. You can then update individual objects by selecting the object and pressing F9.

  • When you select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object and choose Paste Link, you get the same result as if you had chosen Picture and Paste Link: a LINK field with the \a and \p switches. As with any linked object, you can double-click it to modify it. This will load and modify the ORIGINAL spreadsheet (.xls file). Changes will be displayed in your Word document.

Additional query words: 6.0 w4wexcel winword macword word6 word7 7.0 word95 8.0 word8 word97

Keywords: KB105711