Inserting Excel Spreadsheet Into Word Document?

Subject: Inserting Excel Spreadsheet Into Word Document?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 14 Aug 2005 17:41:55 -0400

Jennifer Bennett wonders: <<I want to take a wide, landscape-oriented Excel spreadsheet and insert it into a portrait-oriented Word document, so that the Excel spreadsheet appears sideways in the Word document with the title running up the left side of the paper.>>

The first question you need to answer is whether the spreadsheet will be "live" (i.e., whether it will be updated periodically) or static (i.e., you'll only have to do this once, or relatively infrequently, when the spreadsheet is updated). Live spreadsheets are updated frequently enough that you want to link to another file, not have to repeatedly copy the text into Word and reformat it.

If the spreadsheet is a live document, you have several options. First, you can embed the spreadsheet as an object. This is generally the worst option because it causes enormous file bloat, and leads to the problem of possibly having to launch Excel to view or work with the data. (This depends on the versions of Word and Excel that you're using. Word does usually contain a built-in Excel viewer, but since I've always used the full Office suite, I can't confirm this firsthand.) Last I checked, you can convert the embedded object into a Word table... check the online help for your version of Word.

A better option would be to publish the spreadsheet as a Web page (export as HTML etc.) and link to the HTML file from within Word (select the text that says "Click here to view Jenny's spreadsheet", open the Insert menu, then select Hyperlink). The main problem you'll have with this approach is that you have to ensure that the spreadsheet always appears in the same directory path indicated by the hyperlink. Move it, the link breaks, people start calling you names and wondering what's wrong. <g>

If it's static, the solution is much easier:

<<When I say that the Excel spreadsheet is "wide", I do not mean that it is too wide to fit on the paper, sideways; I feel with some minor tweaking/scaling, it will fit fine in the Word Document. For example, the Excel spreadsheet goes as far to the right as the J column, with some of the columns wider than the default.>>

The term you're looking for is "landscape" mode. No, that's not obvious. <g> You could certainly create a formatted "print preview" of the spreadsheet in Excel, designed to fit perfectly within the margins of the Word document, take a screenshot, and import that into Word. The main disadvantage of this approach is that the resolution may be unacceptable if the text is small.

Scaleable text is always better, which suggests the following solution:

- If the spreadsheet is wide enough that you need to view it in landscape (wide) format: In Word, insert a section break to tell Word that you are creating a new page that needs new formatting: Position the cursor, open the Insert menu, select Break, then select Section break. (There are several options. Check the online help for details.) Depending on the version of Word, you may need to insert one of these breaks immediately before and immediately after the location of the spreadsheet to separate it from the surrounding pages, which will be in "portait" (vertical) format. Format this section that contains the spreadsheet as landscape*.

* Position the text cursor between the two horizontal lines marked "Section break" to tell Word which section you're about to reformat. Open the File menu, select Page Setup, then select the "sideways" page. Details vary among versions of Word, but it'll be obvious when you see it.

- In Excel, directly copy the cells out of spreadsheet (select all relevant cells with the mouse, open the Edit menu, and select "Copy") and paste them into Word. Alternatively, export the cells as tab-delimited ASCII to create a new file, then insert that file into Word. Depending on the versions of both programs that you're using, you may find that one approach works better than the other.

- If the pasted stuff doesn't already appear in the form of a Word table, select it, open the Table menu, and select Convert text to table. This works surprisingly well. <g>

- Format the table to your heart's content.

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
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