Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Object Linking and Embedding
interchangeably). An object is anything that can be manipulated as a whole; in other
words, it is the specific information that you want to share between programs and can be
anything from a chart or a table (as in Caitlin’s case) to a picture, video, sound clip, or
almost anything else you can create on a computer. The program used to create the
object is called the source program , and the program used to create the file where you
want to insert the object is called the destination program . Likewise, the file that initially
contains the object is called the source file , and the file where you want to insert the
object is called the destination file .
Both linking and embedding involve inserting an object into a destination file; the dif-
ference lies in where their respective objects are stored. With embedding , a copy of the
object becomes part of the destination file. You can make changes to the object in either
the destination file or the source file, but the changes you make in one file do not appear
in the other file. This is helpful when you do not want to change the original object.
Embedding enables you to edit an object using its source program’s commands, which is
not possible with regular copying and pasting.
With linking , the object does not exist as a separate object in the destination file.
Instead, OLE creates a direct connection, or link , between the source and destination
programs, so that the object exists in only one place—the source file—but the link displays
the object in the destination file as well. You edit the object in the source file, and the link
ensures that the changes will appear in the destination file. Figure 1-2 summarizes
embedding and linking and compares their advantages and disadvantages.
Comparing integration methods
Figure 1-2
Embedding
Linking
Description
Displays and stores an object in the
Displays an object in the destination file
destination file.
along with the source file’s location;
stores the object in the source file.
Use if you want to
Include the object in the destination
Edit the object in the source file and
file, and edit the object using the
have the changes appear in the
source program without affecting
destination file.
the source file.
Advantages
The source file and destination file can
The destination file size remains fairly
be stored separately. You can use source
small. The source file and the object in the
program commands to make changes
destination file remain identical.
to the object in the destination file.
Disadvantages
The destination file size increases to
The source and destination files must be
reflect the addition of the object from
stored together.
the source file.
Figure 1-3 illustrates the differences between embedding and linking.
 
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