How to Insert Excel Data Into Microsoft Word Documents

Microsoft Excel and Word play together quite nicely

How to Insert Excel Data Into Microsoft Word Documents

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Inserting Excel data into Word isn't difficult, but you do need to decide if you are going to link the worksheet or just embed it in your document. 

Note: The instructions in this article apply to Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013, Excel 2010, Word 2016, Word 2013, Word 2010, Excel 2019 for Mac, Word 2019 for Mac, Excel 2016 for Mac, Word 2016 for Mac, Word for Mac 2011, and Excel for Mac 2011.

What's the Difference Between Linked and Embedded Worksheets?

A linked worksheet means that whenever the worksheet is updated, the changes are reflected in your document. All of the editing is completed in the worksheet and not in the document.

An embedded worksheet is a flat file. That means that once it is in your Word document, it becomes a piece of that document and can be edited like a Word table. There is no connection between the original worksheet and the Word document.

Embed a Worksheet

You have two main options when embedding a worksheet into your document. Simply copy and paste from Excel into Word or embed it using the Paste Special feature.

Using the traditional copy and paste method is definitely a lot faster and simpler but it also limits you a bit. It may also mess with some of your formatting and you may lose some functionality of the table.

Paste the Worksheet

Paste the Spreadsheet

Using the Paste Special feature provides more options on how the data will appear. Worksheet data on the clipboard can be pasted as a Word document, formatted or unformatted text, HTML, or an image. Paste Special is not available in Word Online.

  1. Open your Microsoft Excel worksheet.
  2. Drag over the content that you want in your document.
  3. Copy the data. Press CTRL+C (on a Mac, press Command+C) or select Home > Copy.
  4. Navigate to your Word document.
  5. Place the insertion point where you want the worksheet data to appear.
  6. Press CTRL+V (on a Mac, press Command+V) or select Home > Paste.

Use Paste Special to Paste the Worksheet

Paste Special offers many formatting choices
  1. Open your Microsoft Excel worksheet.
  2. Drag over the content that you want in your document.
  3. Copy the data. Press CTRL+C (on a Mac, press Command+C) or select Home > Copy.
  4. Navigate to your Word document.
  5. Place the insertion point where you want the worksheet data to appear.
  6. In the Home tab, select the down arrow next to Paste.
  7. Select Paste Special.
  8. Select Paste.
  9. Select a format option from the As field. The most common selections are Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object and Image.
  10. Select OK.

Link Your Worksheet to Your Document

Paste Link connects your Word document to your Excel Spreadsheet

The steps for linking your worksheet into your Word document are similar to the steps for embedding the data.

  1. Open your Microsoft Excel worksheet.
  2. Drag over the content that you want in your document.
  3. Copy the data. Press CTRL+C (on a Mac, press Command+C) or select Home > Copy.
  4. Navigate to your Word document.
  5. Place the insertion point where you want the worksheet data to appear.
  6. Select the down arrow next to Paste.
  7. Select Paste Special.
  8. Select Paste Link.
  9. Select a format option from the As field. The most common selections are Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object and Image.
  10. Select OK.

Things to Remember When Linking

  • If you move the linked Excel file, the link is broken. To fix this, follow the Link steps above and relink the file.
  • If you want to edit the Excel data in your document, double-click on it. This opens the linked worksheet in Excel.
  • If you edit the worksheet in Excel, the changes appear in your Word document when you save the Excel worksheet.