Inserting Excel into Word

If you use Microsoft Word and Excel a lot, you know that an Excel spreadsheet gives you many more options than a simple table in Word. However, you often want to integrate the Excel spreadsheet into another document such as a Word file. Fortunately, inserting Excel projects into Word is quick and easy. The first step is to decide whether you want to insert the Excel spreadsheet into Word or link the two documents. We’ll explain the difference between these two methods and show how you can easily import and use your Excel projects in Word.

Linking or inserting Excel in Word: What’s the difference?

You can either embed (link) an Excel spreadsheet in Word or simply copy it into Word.

Inserting your Excel spreadsheet into Word using copy and paste is quick and easy. The disadvantage is that if you then want to customize the Excel table later in your Word document, you can only use the commands available in Word.

If you want to continue using Excel functions to edit your table, you should link the Excel worksheet in Word. This way you ensure that changes in your original Excel file are automatically inserted and updated in Word.

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How to insert (copy) an Excel file into Word: Step-by-step guide

Inserting your Excel spreadsheet into Word using copy and paste is the easiest way to connect the two data sources. Follow these simple steps:

  1. First, open your Excel worksheet and use your cursor to select the entire spreadsheet or the area that you want to insert into your Word document.
  2. Copy the selected area either by right-clicking and choosing Copy or by pressing Ctrl + C in Windows or cmd + C in MacOS.
  3. Open your Word document and position your cursor in the place where you want to insert the Excel table in the slide. Paste the copied area either by right-clicking and choosing Paste or by pressing Ctrl + V in Windows or cmd + V in macOS.
Note

Keyboard shortcuts aren’t called shortcuts for nothing: They really do speed up your work. If you want to improve your workflow, it’s worth learning the most important and popular Word shortcuts and Excel shortcuts.

How to link (embed) an Excel spreadsheet in Word

Embedding an Excel spreadsheet in Word requires a few additional steps. However, by linking directly to your Excel data, any later changes will be automatically updated in the embedded version in the Word document. If you want to embed an Excel worksheet in Word, simply follow our detailed instructions with screenshots, or see the short version further below.

Linking an Excel spreadsheet in Word: Step-by-step instructions

  1. First, open your Excel file and select the entire worksheet or the area that you want to insert into your Word document.
  2. Then copy the selected area by right-clicking and choosing Copy or by using the appropriate keyboard shortcut.
  1. In the Word document, move the cursor to where you want to insert the Excel spreadsheet. On the Home tab, choose Paste and select Paste Special.... In macOS (Mac), the Paste Special... option is found under Edit:
  1. In the dialog box that appears, select the Paste link option. In the list on the right, select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object at the top. Confirm your selection by choosing Ok. Your Excel worksheet will now be inserted and linked.

How to link an Excel spreadsheet in Word: shortcut version

  1. Copy your Excel spreadsheet to the clipboard, either by right-clicking and choosing Copy, or by pressing Ctrl + C shortcut in Windows or cmd +C in macOS.
  2. Place the cursor in the desired location in your Word document. Select Paste Special... from the menu. In Windows, open the Home tab, click Paste and select Paste Special.... On a Mac, choose Paste Special... under Edit.
  3. In the dialog box, click Paste link and select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object. Save your changes by choosing Ok.

Linking an Excel spreadsheet in Word: Which changes are transferred?

By linking your Excel spreadsheet in Word, you ensure that changes in your Excel table are automatically transferred to your Word document and displayed there. However, the changes you make to the table in Word are not automatically transferred to the Excel spreadsheet. So always remember to copy these changes to the linked original document. The same applies if you link an Excel table in PowerPoint or insert a Word document into PowerPoint.


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