No application is an island. Sooner or later, you're probably going to want to take your carefully crafted Excel data and insert it into a completely different program. Maybe you want to bolster a presentation slideshow with some real data or give some heft to a report. No matter what the reason, you need a flexible way to share Excel tables and charts with other software programs.
Fortunately, the modern Windows operating system was designed with exactly that idea in mind. Windows lets you integrate different types of data through a pair of features called linking and embedding . Using linking and embedding, you can plant Excel data in other applications. You can also perform the same task in reverse, incorporating objects from other applications into your worksheets.
In this chapter, you'll learn how to use linking and embedding to integrate different types of content into one document. Once you've mastered these techniques, you'll learn a few new tricks for sharing raw data, including how to export and import worksheet data, read non-Excel file formats, and even retrieve information from a database so you can analyze it with all your favorite formulas and charting tools.