When (and How) to Use Linked vs. Embedded Worksheets

Sometimes when you use a worksheet in a Microsoft PowerPoint or Word presentation, you want it to be as up-to-date as possible. Other times, it doesn’t matter if the information is current or not – you can just use a static copy of an old worksheet.

In the first instance, you’ll want to use a linked worksheet. In other words, your presentation will look for its source data in the original Excel file. In the second instance, you can use an embedded worksheet – basically, a copy that you can modify without it affecting the original. Embedded worksheets are handy when you’re sharing your presentation with others, because it means you won’t have to send the original Excel file along with the presentation.

Linked Worksheets

So let’s say you’ve got a PowerPoint presentation that includes a slide showing the most current quarter’s sales figures. That will change from quarter to quarter, of course, so you should use a linked worksheet. If you choose this option, remember that your machine will look for the source data in the original Excel file every time you open the PowerPoint presentation.

Here’s how to insert a linked Excel 2007 worksheet in PowerPoint 2007:

1. Open up your PowerPoint presentation to the relevant slide.
2. Open up your Excel file to the relevant chart.
3. Select the portion of the worksheet you want to include.
4. Press Ctrl+C.
5. Switch over to PowerPoint and click on the slide.
6. Go to the Home tab, find the Clipboard group, click the arrow under Paste, and then click Paste Special.

 

7. In the As list, select Microsoft Office Excel object.
8. Click Paste link.

To perform the same operation using Excel and PowerPoint 2003:

1. Open up your PowerPoint presentation to the relevant slide.
2. Open up your Excel file to the relevant chart.
3. Select the portion of the worksheet you want to include.
4. Press Ctrl+C.
5. Switch over to PowerPoint and click on the slide.
6. Go to Edit/Paste Special.
7. Select the Paste link toggle and select Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object.

Embedded Worksheets

If you’re using information that will not be updated, or if you don’t want changes to a worksheet to be reflected in your presentation, you can simply embed a copy of the worksheet in the presentation. (This also makes the presentation more portable, because it won’t automatically “look” for the source data in Excel every time you open it.)

Here’s how to insert an embedded Excel 2007 worksheet in PowerPoint 2007:

1. Open up your PowerPoint presentation to the relevant slide.
2. Open up your Excel file to the relevant chart.
3. Select the portion of the worksheet you want to include.
4. Press Ctrl+C.
5. Switch over to PowerPoint and click on the slide.
6. Go to the Home tab, find the Clipboard group, click the arrow under Paste, and then click Paste Special.
 

7. In the As list, select Microsoft Office Excel object.
8. Click Paste.

To perform the same operation using Excel and PowerPoint 2003:

1. Open up your PowerPoint presentation to the relevant slide.
2. Open up your Excel file to the relevant chart.
3. Select the portion of the worksheet of the worksheet you want to include.
4. Press Ctrl+C.
5. Switch over to PowerPoint and click on the slide.
6. Go to Edit/Paste Special.
7. Select the Paste toggle and select Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object.

If you’ve got a question about Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or other Office programs, CMIT Solutions can help. Give us a call at (800) 399-CMIT.

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