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Word 2007: Linking vs. Embedding

Word 2007: Linking vs. Embedding

You’ve probably already seen embedding in action. Anytime you insert an image – ClipArt or otherwise – you’re embedding that object into your Word document.

When you embed a file or an image, you are simply placing a copy of that file or image into the new program. But, when you LINK a file or an image, you are creating a relationship between the original image or file and the file in which you are placing a copy of that same drawing.

When linking, if the original drawing is updated or modified, the corresponding linked image will update as well. This means, a program like Microsoft Word not only stores the actual original drawing appearance, but it also stores the file location. This way, Word knows to check for an updated version of the drawing each time the Word document is opened. 

By default, when you open a document that contains a link, Word searches for the linked file and updates the file with any changes. If you are in the file containing the link on a regular basis, it could start to eat into your time while you wait for the program to update the link each time the file is opened.

Another option is to tell Word to only update the links on your command, not every time the file is opened. This is called setting a Manual link. The only trick here is to remember to update the link manually any time you need the most up-to-date information.

So, when considering how to use one Office program with another, just remember that they are all siblings and as such, typically play really well together (OK – call them cousins).

Linking and Embedding is just one option of many ways you can use these programs together. We’ll look at some others in the following lessons.