Chapter 24. Exchanging Data with Other Programs

No program is an island. Sooner or later, you’ll probably want to take your carefully crafted Excel data and insert it into a completely different program. Maybe you want to bolster a presentation 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 programs.

Fortunately, Microsoft designed the Windows operating system with exactly that idea in mind. Windows lets you integrate different types of data through a pair of features called embedding and linking. Using these features, you can plant Excel data in other programs. You can also do the reverse, incorporate—objects from other programs into your worksheets.

In this chapter, you’ll learn how to use embedding and linking to integrate different types of content into one document. Once you master those techniques, you’ll learn how to export and import raw worksheet data.


Excel is all about data, so it’s no surprise that Excel provides a dizzying array of options for importing information. In this chapter, you’ll take a look at the simplest—ordinary import operations that can pull data out of old files and paste it into a worksheet. In later chapters, you’ll look at more specialized alternatives that can extract information out of massive databases (Chapter 27), and web pages and XML documents (Chapter 28).

Sharing Information in Windows

Every program has its own strengths ...

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