How to Insert Excel Data Into Word Documents

These two Microsoft programs work well together

How to Insert Excel Data Into Microsoft Word Documents

 rawpixel \ Unsplash

Sometimes it's helpful to include a table in a Microsoft Word document but Word tables have their limitations. Microsoft Excel, on the other hand, allows you to create extensive tables of information involving complex mathematical calculations. You can make Excel data part of your Word document. Inserting Excel data into Word isn't difficult but you need to decide if you're going to link the Excel worksheet to your document or just embed it. Here we help you make that decision and explain how to do each one.

The instructions in this article apply to Excel 2019, Excel 2019 for Mac, Excel 2016, Excel 2016 for Mac, Excel 2013, Excel for Mac 2011, Excel 2010, and Excel for Office 365. They also apply to Word 2019, Word 2019 for Mac, Word 2016, Word 2016 for Mac, Word 2013, Word for Mac 2011, Word 2010, and Word for Office 365.

Should You Link or Embed?

When you link an Excel worksheet to a Word document, every time the worksheet is updated, the changes are reflected in the document. All editing takes place in the worksheet and not in the document. Use this option if you'll be making a lot of changes to the worksheet, especially if they involve complex calculations.

An embedded worksheet, on the other hand, is what's known as a flat file. Once it's part of your Word document, it behaves like a piece of that document and can be edited within it. There is no connection between the original worksheet and the Word document it's now a part of. Use this option if you'll be making minimal changes to the table data and/or the data involves simple calculations.

Embedding Options

When you embed an Excel worksheet into your Word document, you have another decision to make. You can copy and paste from Excel to Word or embed using the Paste Special feature. The copy-and-paste method is faster but some of your formatting may change and you may lose some table functionality. The Paste Special feature provides more options for how the data will appear.

How to Embed Excel Data in a Word Document

Here's how to embed using the simple paste option:

  1. Open your Microsoft Excel worksheet. Highlight the data you want to include in your Word document.

    MS Excel spreadsheet with some data highlighted
  2. Copy the data by pressing Ctrl+C on your keyboard (on a Mac, press Command+C). Or right-click within the selected data area and select Copy.

    MS Excel spreadsheet with some data highlighted and formatting menu displayed
  3. Open your Word document and place your cursor where you want the worksheet data to appear. Press Ctrl+V on your keyboard (on a Mac, press Command+V). Or on the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, select Paste.

    Don't choose the Paste dropdown menu. Just select the Paste command.

    MS Word with Paste command selected
  4. The data appears in your Word document.

    MS Word document with Excel data inserted

Here's how to embed using the Paste Special option:

  1. Open your Microsoft Excel worksheet. Highlight the data you want to include in your Word document.

    MS Excel spreadsheet with some data highlighted
  2. Copy the data by pressing Ctrl+C on your keyboard (on a Mac, press Command+C). Or right-click within the selected data area and select Copy.

    MS Excel spreadsheet with some data highlighted and formatting menu displayed
  3. Open your Word document and place your cursor where you want the worksheet data to appear. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, select the Paste dropdown menu. Choose Paste Special.

    MS Word document with Paste dropdown menu displayed
  4. In the Paste Special dialog box, select the Paste radio button. From the list, select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object. Select OK.

    MS Word document with Paste Special dialog box displayed
  5. The Excel data appears in your Word document.

    MS Word document with Excel data inserted

How to Link Excel Data to a Word Document

The steps for linking your worksheet into your Word document are similar to the steps for embedding the data. Keep these pointers in mind after you've linked the data:

  • If you move the linked Excel file (say to another folder), the link will break. To relink it, follow the steps below again.
  • If you want to edit the data, double-click it. The linked worksheet will open in Excel.
  • If you edit the worksheet in Excel, the changes appear in your Word document when you save the Excel worksheet.
  1. Open your Microsoft Excel worksheet. Highlight the data you want to include in your Word document.

    MS Excel spreadsheet with some data highlighted
  2. Copy the data by pressing Ctrl+C on your keyboard (on a Mac, press Command+C). Or right-click within the selected data area and select Copy.

    MS Excel spreadsheet with some data highlighted and formatting menu displayed
  3. Open your Word document and place your cursor where you want the worksheet data to appear. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, select the Paste dropdown menu. Choose Paste Special.

    MS Word document with Paste dropdown menu displayed
  4. In the Paste Special dialog box, select the Paste link radio button. From the list, select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Object. Select OK.

    MS Word document with Paste Special dialog box displayed
  5. The Excel data appears in your Word document.

    MS Word document with Excel data inserted