What is the Best Practice in Engagement to link Microsoft Excel and Word documents?

Creating OLE links between Word and Excel documents is a common practice.  For the best results, the following recommendations have been written:

  • When creating an OLE link between documents, customers should be using the Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet Object format. 
    • Other link options (such as Unformatted Text and Formatted Text) should not be used, as this creates a link that may not be as stable as the Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object.
  • After creating the OLE link, the “Layout” option of the link should always be In Line With Text.
    • To check this, right-click on the link (in Microsoft Word), and select Format Object. Look at the Layout tab, and make sure that the Wrapping style is set to In Line With Text.
  • After creating the OLE link, do not resize or move the link. 
    • Resizing or moving the link will cause the Wrapping style setting to change, resulting in an unstable link. 
    • All sizing and formatting should be done within Microsoft Excel prior to linking to Microsoft Word.
  • In order to make the OLE links create with the proper Wrapping style, set the default link insert format to In Line with Text.
    • To do this, select File > Word Options > Advanced. In the Cut, Copy, and Paste section, set the option for Insert/Paste Pictures as to In line with text.
  • Do not “embed” Microsoft Excel objects.
    • This process is done by selecting Insert > Object > Microsoft Office Excel Worksheet
    • This places a “mini-spreadsheet” into the Word document. 
      • This “mini-spreadsheet” has some basic Excel functionality, such as formulas.  However, no Engagement or TB Link functionality is available within this area. 

Note:  When converting documents from DOC to DOCX it is important to understand that there are limitations that occur with OLE linking.  When using the DOCX format the options for pasting links as 'Formatted Text', 'Unformatted Text', and 'Unformatted Unicode Text' cannot be used.  The link locations will not be updated and will cause errors on open when the file is synchronized between users.

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