How to Create a Linked Object in Microsoft Excel

Creating a linked object in an Excel spreadsheet can seem difficult, until you understand the logistics behind it. Also, linking objects is different from embedding objects. Both require insertion into the spreadsheet from a destination source. The difference is the linked object changes with any updates made to the destination source, because they are actually connected (linked). Embedded objects become part of the spreadsheet and can be edited, but updates are only seen in the spreadsheet itself, because the file where the embedded object comes from is not connected to it.


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An Alternative Way to Embed Objects Into a Spreadsheet

Another way to embed a new object would be to open the document that has what you want to embed, highlight it and choose “Copy”. Then go back to the spreadsheet and either right click or use the pull down options on the “Edit” menu and choose “Paste Special”. Select “Paste”. Again, check the “Display as icon” box to make your object appear as an icon.

Steps to Link an Object


Select the cell in your worksheet where you want the object to appear.


Click the “Insert” tab on the top tool bar of your worksheet.


Click “Object” in the “Text” group.


Choose “Create New” or “Create from File”. A new embedded file can be created and edited right in your spreadsheet. An embedded object created from a file is pulled from an existing file you may have saved on your computer or another source. (You may embed objects such as PDFs, PowerPoint slides, charts, Word documents, and other types of documents.)


If you choose to embed a newly created file, select the “Create New” tab. Then select your object type in the “Object type” box.


Click “OK”.


If you choose to embed an existing document from a file, click the “Create from File” tab, place the cursor in the “File name” box and click the “Browse” button.


Find and select the file you want to embed into your spreadsheet. Here, if you would like to make this insertion appear as an icon, check the “Display as icon” box.


Click “OK”.

And that’s all there is to embedding a file into your spreadsheet.

Note: Although these steps may be similar in different versions of Excel. This particular tutorial is for the 2010 version.

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