This section provides a general overview of the three basic ways to exchange data among separate Office applications:
This discussion will help you choose the most appropriate method. The following sections will discuss the specific techniques for performing each method.
When you use static copying or static moving, the data that you insert becomes an integral part of the receiving document and retains no link or connection with the document or program from which it was obtained. This type of copying or moving is what you normally perform when you're working within a single document or program, using the techniques discussed in previous chapters. When you statically copy or move data from one application to another, you might or might not be able to edit the data within the receiving document. If the data can be converted to a format that the receiving program understands, you'll be able to edit it— for example, when you copy text from a Microsoft Excel worksheet and paste it into a Microsoft Word document. If, however, the data can't be converted into a format native to the receiving program, the data can be displayed and printed but can't be edited in the receiving program— for example, when you copy bitmapped graphics from some drawing programs into a Word document.
When you use linking, the data that you insert retains its connection with the document and the program from which it was obtained. In fact, a complete copy of the data is stored only within the source document; the receiving document stores only the linking information and the information required to display the data. When the data in the source document is edited (by you or someone else), the linked data in the receiving document can be updated automatically or manually to reflect the changes.
When you use embedding, the data that's inserted retains its connection with the source program but not with the source document. In fact, there might not even be a source document, because you can create new embedded data. The receiving document stores a complete copy of the information, just as it does with statically copied data. However, because of the connection between this data and the source program, you can use the source program's tools to edit the data.
You should use linking rather than embedding when you want to store and maintain data within one document and merely display an up-to-date copy of the data in one or more other documents. Linking is especially useful in the following situations:
For information on using the Binder program to combine entire documents created by Office applications, see Chapter 36, "Using the Office Binder Program."
You should use embedding rather than linking when you want to store an independent block of data as an integral part of the document in which it's displayed. Maintaining documents that contain embedded data is simpler than maintaining documents that contain linked data, because you don't have to keep track of source documents. (To update linked data, the source document must be present in its original location under its original filename.) And you can easily share with other users a document containing only embedded data— without having to provide linked source documents along with it.
In previous parts of the book, you learned how to copy or move data within an Office application using the drag-and-drop technique, as well as by using the Copy or Cut command followed by the Paste command. You can also use any of these techniques to copy or move data among separate Office applications. When you use these general-purpose methods, however, you have little control over how the data is transferred. The data might be copied or moved statically, or it might be embedded in the receiving document, depending on the nature of the data and the specific applications involved. In the following sections, you'll learn how to use the Copy or Cut command followed by the Paste Special command to precisely control the format and the manner in which data is transferred.
Create Hyperlinks by Dragging or by Pasting As a Hyperlink
Instead of statically copying data from one application or file to another, you can create a hyperlink to the data in the source document. To do this, select the data in the source document and drag it to the destination document using the right mouse button. When you release the mouse button, choose Create Hyperlink Here from the pop-up menu that appears. You can also create a hyperlink by first copying the text from the source document and then pasting it into the destination document by choosing Paste As Hyperlink from the Edit menu. Using either method, the text you copy must be from a saved file.