Share data across multiple programs

Imagine having a single application capable of processing spreadsheets, complex documents, images, large files, whatever. Usually we used to use different applications to different things, but it is very simple to make these applications communicate with each other, so that they become as one big program. All you need is to know the right commands. Windows offers two ways to transfer data from one application to another.

The first consists of the notes (or the clipboard). The second is known as OLE (Object Linking and Embedding, ie linking and embedding objects) and is much more flexible and powerful, but is not recognized by all applications. Maybe you already know these possibilities through the Paste command (for notes) and “Paste Special” (for OLE). Now we will try to share an Excel table with a text document in WordPad.

Wordpad is a program included with all versions of Windows : just click to launch

Start / Start, Programs, Accessories, WordPad.

The same Scansoft Paperport-procedures can still be used for most of the programs.

The clipboard (clipboard) is the place where they are temporarily stored the data that we want to move elsewhere. If you have never made use of the Copy and Paste commands you’ve used them without knowing it. Wordpad Select the text you want to transfer: click at the beginning of the text, hold down the mouse button and drag to the end of the text, Archiving documents onlinehighlighting it. Copy it by clicking on the Edit menu, Copy, or by pressing Control-C at the same time. If you want to move the text, rather than copy it, choose Cut, or press the Control-X .

Now you start Excel and open a new worksheet.

Click Edit, Paste (or simultaneously press Control-V). As you can see, the text is copied into Excel, but included everything in a cell. You can edit the text, but you also have to change the cell size to be sure that all the text is visible when printed. If you have a long text, it is a convenient method. Now here comes the OLE to help us, with all its power. Instead of just pasting the text into the spreadsheet Excel, we can use what is called “Paste Special” you will find this item in the Edit menu. In the dialog box of “Paste Special”, select ” Document Object Wordpad “and click OK. The text will be inserted into Excel in a way that resembles an image: it has the same resize handles of any other object. Now you can move this box anywhere on the page and you can also zoom in or zoom out.

Click twice inside the box with the text: toolbar and menu items will become the Wordpad. If your toolbars are missing, go to the View menu and click on the ones you want to unhide. Click anywhere outside the box with text to return to the normal view of Excel. To select the box again, click once on the text and resize handles will appear again.

Transfer information in this way can be extremely useful in some cases, but what if we want to transfer information that we have not yet finished transcribing?

Using “Paste Special”, you can transfer data from one application to ‘other while maintaining the link that unites them. When you will update the data in an application, the news will be automatically updated in the second application. Combining in this way, the information of an Excel spreadsheet into a text document in WordPad can be very useful for example when you have to send a fax, or when you have to file a report. First of all, selected and copied in the usual way you want to transfer data from Excel spreadsheet. So open your Wordpad document, position the pointer where you want the table to appear. This step is important because, contrary to Excel, you can not move the table on the page. From the Edit menu, click ” Paste Special “. Click on the “Paste Link”. Most likely it is already mentioned ” Microsoft Excel Worksheet “.

Click OK and the table appears in the document of Wordpad.


Try to make some changes to the original Excel spreadsheet and you will see that the same changes will automatically appear in the document in Wordpad. For example, change the number in cell C2 from 235 to 0.

Click on cell C2 in Excel, enter the new value and press Enter. Now look at the document in Wordpad there, too, the value will be changed from 235 to 0. If you want to change the table as you work directly in Wordpad, just double click inside the table and it will automatically open the original Excel. Click with the right mouse button anywhere on the table in the document of Wordpad and select ” Object Properties “.

In the dialog box ” Properties object connected “then click the View tab. Here you can choose to display the Excel table as an icon rather than as editable text. You may find it convenient to work on the text surrounding the table, but it fills a lot of space on the monitor. Double-clicking the icon in the table will automatically open the original Excel spreadsheet. There are other things to be able to do through the dialog box ” Properties linked object .

Click the Shortcut tab . If you decide you no longer want the table to be linked to the original worksheet in Excel , click the Stop button. You will see another dialog box, you will be notified that you are going to break the link between the two applications and you will be asked for confirmation.


Click Yes and you will notice that the Shortcut tab disappears from the dialog box.

From now on, all the changes made to the original will no longer be given in duplicate in Wordpad. If you want to change something, you’ll have to copy and paste again.