Linking a Diagram to a Microsoft Office Document

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When you link a Visio diagram to a document in a Microsoft Office application, the document file stores a reference to the original diagram. If you edit the diagram—either in Visio or within the document—the diagram changes in both places. And if you've linked the diagram to more than one document, each of those documents will be updated. Because each of these documents is linked to a single Visio diagram, your document stays smaller, which means you can work in the document more quickly and it takes up less space on your hard disk. However, any time you need to use the Microsoft Office document that contains the link, the original Visio diagram must be available.

A linked file is tracked and updated based on its file name and location. Let's say you link a Visio diagram to a PowerPoint slide. The next time you open that PowerPoint presentation, it searches for the Visio drawing file referenced by the link and displays the latest version. If you change the name of the Visio diagram file, or move it to a different folder after you link it, the link will be broken and the diagram won't appear in PowerPoint. If you link a diagram to an Office document, it's simplest to store the Visio diagram in the same folder as the Office document; if you need to move the document to another computer, make sure you move both the document and the linked diagram file. For example, if you created a presentation on your laptop computer, and then want to run the presentation from a different computer, copy both the presentation file and the linked Visio drawing file to the new computer. Before you can link a Visio diagram, you must save the file.


To display a linked Visio diagram in a document, your computer must have the applications used to create both the document and the Visio diagram. This limitation makes documents with links less portable. To send a document that contains links to another person, you must include all the files referenced by the links, and the recipient must also have all the applications used to create the documents and files. However, it doesn't matter which version of Visio the recipient has—both Visio Standard and Visio Professional can open diagrams created in the other version. Do not use object linking if you need to print the document from a computer that doesn't have Visio installed; embed the diagram instead.

To link to a Visio diagram from another application, follow these steps:

  1. In Visio, select the shapes or diagram on the Visio drawing page, and then choose Edit, Copy. Or, to include the entire drawing in the document, make sure nothing is selected on the Visio drawing page, and choose Edit, Copy Drawing.
  2. Open the document in which you want the data to appear. (For example, open PowerPoint, and then display the slide in which you want the Visio diagram to appear.)
  3. Choose Edit, Paste Special to display the Paste Special dialog box.


    Don't use the Paste command or the keyboard shortcut (Ctrl+V), because you won't be able to create a link.

  4. Select Microsoft Visio Drawing Object, and then select the Paste Link option button.

    You can paste only one page at a time, so if you want to paste multiple drawing pages from Visio, you'll need to repeat this process for each page.

  5. Click OK to paste the copied object.

Editing a Linked Diagram

After you link a Visio diagram to another document, you can continue to work on the diagram. The document containing the link will reflect your changes.

To edit a linked Visio diagram, open the diagram in Visio, make any changes you want, and then save the file with the same file name in the same folder. You can also edit the linked diagram from within the document it's linked to. To do this, double-click the diagram in the document. Essentially, you've just used a shortcut to start Visio and open the drawing; otherwise, you work in Visio exactly as you would if you had opened the application separately.

Updating a Linked Diagram

In most OLE client applications, linked objects are updated automatically each time you open the document. When you open the document, the application searches for each file referenced in a link and updates the appearance of the document to match the current version of the linked diagram. If the application can't find the file, it will prompt you to locate it. Even when a linked object is set to update automatically, you can manually update the link at any time to reflect changes you've made in the diagram.

If you expect to edit your original Visio diagram frequently and won't always have access to it from the linked document, you might want to set the object to manual linking, rather than to automatic. That way, you won't receive prompts to locate the file every time you open the document. If you do set a link for manual updating, make sure you actually update the link before you print or publish it so that changes you've made to the diagram are reflected in the document.

To update a link manually in most OLE-compatible applications, follow these steps:

  1. Select the linked Visio object in the document, and then choose Edit, Links to display the Links dialog box.

    Depending on the application you're working in, the dialog box may not exactly match the illustration that follows. If you don't see this command in your application, refer to its documentation for links management commands.

  2. Select Manual, and then click OK.
  3. To update the link manually, choose Edit, Links.
  4. Select the Visio source file, and then click Update Now.


    You can manually update a link at any time whether you've chosen the automatic or manual update method.

Microsoft Visio Version 2002 Inside Out
Microsoft Visio Version 2002 Inside Out (Inside Out (Microsoft))
ISBN: 0735612854
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2000
Pages: 211
Authors: Nanette Eaton © 2008-2017.
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