How to Link Word Document to Excel (2 Easy Methods)

In this article, I will show you how to link an MS Word document to excel worksheets. Often, while working in excel, you may need to link information from a Microsoft Word document to an excel sheet. Depending on your requirement, there is more than one method available to link MS Word files to excel. So, I will show you those ways. Besides, I will explain how to embed a Word document in excel.


Download Practice Workbook

You can download the practice workbook that we have used to prepare this article.


Difference Between Embedding and Linking a Word Document

Before starting to link and embed Word documents to excel, let’s have a look at the difference between embedding and linking a document.

Linking an MS Word file to an excel worksheet means the original Word document and the word file placed in the excel sheet will maintain a connection. If I say more elaborately if you edit/delete anything from the original word document, that change will automatically reflect in the Word file that is placed in the excel file. And, it happens vice versa.

➤ On the other hand, Embedding a Word document in an excel worksheet will break the connection between the word files instantaneously. That means if you update the original word file, that change would not reflect in the word file embedded in the excel sheet. One thing to remember about embedding files to excel is: ‘It increases the size of the excel file’.


2 Easy Methods to Link Word Document to Excel

1. Link Word Document to an Excel Worksheet Using ‘Object’ Option

Now I will link a Word document to excel using the Object option.

Steps:

  • Go to the excel worksheet where you want to create the linkage. I have put my cursor on Cell B4.

Link Word Document to an Excel Worksheet Using 'Object' Option

Link Word Document to an Excel Worksheet Using 'Object' Option

  • Next, go to Text > Object.

Link Word Document to an Excel Worksheet Using 'Object' Option

  • As a result, the Object window will show up. Now click on the Create from File By clicking on the Browse option choose the Word document you want to link with. After that put tick marks on Link to file and Display as icon option (see the screenshot). Click OK.

Link Word Document to an Excel Worksheet Using 'Object' Option

  • Finally, the Word file is placed on the excel sheet and the file is linked to the original Word file.

Read More: How to Link Files in Excel (5 Different Approaches)


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2. Use Hyperlink Option to Link Word Document to Excel

You can link a word document very easily by using a Hyperlink. For example, I have a file name typed in Cell B4. Now, I will link a Word file to this file name.

Steps:

  • Click on Cell B4, and press Ctrl + K from the keyboard to bring the Insert Hyperlink.

Use Hyperlink Option to Link Word Document to Excel

  • Click on the Existing File or Web Page option and choose the Word document from the Look in Press OK.

Use Hyperlink Option to Link Word Document to Excel

  • Consequently, Cell B4 is linked to a specific Word document. Clicking the Hyperlink will direct you to the corresponding MS Word file.

Use Hyperlink Option to Link Word Document to Excel

Note:

  • You can open the Insert Hyperlink window just by right-clicking on the specified cell.

  • Or, you can go Inset > Link > Insert Link to bring the window.

Use Hyperlink Option to Link Word Document to Excel

Read More: How to Link Excel Sheets to Another Sheet (5 Ways)


Apply Object Option to Embed Word Document in Excel

This time I will show you how to embed an MS Word document into an excel file.

Steps:

  • First, go to the corresponding excel sheet.
  • Then go to Insert > Text > Object.
  • The Object window will show up. Next, go to Create from File Then, click on the Browse option to choose the Word document you want to link with. Put tick marks on only the Display as icon option (see the screenshot) and select OK.

Apply 'Object' Option to Embed Word document in Excel

  • As a consequence, the Word file will be embedded in the excel file.


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Pros and Cons of Linking Word Document to Excel

Pros

Linking Word documents to excel has some amazing advantages such as:

  • Linking Word files keeps your excel file size less. This is because the information is still stored in word files, excel only displays the information.
  • In case you need to update anything in Word files, linking saves a lot of time.

Cons

Unfortunately, there is a disadvantage of linking word files to excel.

  • The file path must be always the same which means the original word file requires to be in the same location. If you send the excel file to people who do not have the access to the linked location, then linking won’t be useful.

Conclusion

In the above article, I have tried to discuss several methods to link a word document to excel elaborately. Hopefully, these methods and explanations will be enough to solve your problems. Please let me know if you have any queries.


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Hosne Ara

Hosne Ara

Hi, This is Hosne Ara. Currently, I do write for ExcelDemy. I have a long experience working with different industries and I have seen how vast the scope of Microsoft Excel is. So, eventually, I started to write articles on Excel and VBA. Basically, my articles are targeted to help people who are working in Excel. By profession, I am an Engineer. Materials and Metallurgical Engineering is my major. Besides, I am a certified Project Manager (PMP) too. I have worked with Power Plant and IT industry earlier. As a person, I am detail-oriented and love doing research. Establishing a greener world is one of my mottos.

1 Comment
  1. Dear Hosne,

    This disadvantage is killing me and it took me forever to finally figure out this is the problem I was having.

    “Unfortunately, there is a disadvantage of linking word files to excel.”

    “The file path must be always the same which means the original word file requires to be in the same location. If you send the excel file to people who do not have the access to the linked location, then linking won’t be useful.”

    This sort of defeats the purpose of using the same linked cell format for numerous analogous projects.

    I think I have a workaround for my own use as a real estate appraiser. I set up spreadsheets for different projects that are identically formatted to my linked spreadsheet. For example “Year Built” is in cell B1, “Square Footage, in cell B2, “Date of Appraisal” is in cell B3 on the linked spreadsheet and on every property spreadsheet. When I am ready to do my final linking, I simply copy the cells over whatever data is already existing in my linked spreadsheet. They key is I am copying data, not copying files. I still have my original data properly formatted in its appropriate job folder, I can work on other projects, within their own folders, and not lose the data for a prior project that I might still be working.

    I also did see that someone wrote a macro that changes the file path within the link codes so that the paired Word and Excel files are properly linked if
    moved or copied to a new folder. The macros changes the coding to become relative rather than the links continually referring back to the original source file.

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