Understanding Graphic Linking

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 19, 2014)

2

You already know that when you insert a picture into your document, you can either place it inline (in the text) or in a text box or frame. You can also control how Word manages that graphic. You can either have the graphic file added to your document, as an integral part of it, or you can have it simply linked to your document.

The next time you insert a graphic, take a look at the Insert Picture dialog box. Notice that beside the Insert button there is a drop-down arrow. If you click this arrow you're presented with a number of options for inserting the picture. The first option, Link to File, causes Word to create an active link between the graphic in your document and the original graphic file. This allows you to automatically or manually update the graphic in your document by having Word recopy it into your document.

Note that the drop-down option also includes one named Insert and Link. This results in not only a link being established with the graphic file, but also a copy of the file being saved in the Word document. Choosing to insert the graphic in this manner can result in significantly increased document sizes.

If you are using Word 97, there is no drop-down arrow next to the Insert Picture dialog box. Instead, the dialog box includes a couple of check boxes that control graphic linking. One check box is entitled Link to File; it functions the same as the Link to File option already discussed. If you click the checkbox, then Word 97 creates an active link for the picture.

If you choose the Link to File checkbox, Word 97 then allows you to choose the Save Picture in Document check box. If this option is selected, a copy of the picture is saved as a part of your document, instead of a simple link to the picture. Choosing both check boxes is the same as choosing Insert and Link in later versions of Word.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (396) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Adding the Set Print Area Tool

Spend a lot of time defining print areas in your workbooks? You might benefit by adding a Set Print Area tool that makes ...

Discover More

Determining the Horizontal Position of the Insertion Point

Need to figure out how far the insertion point is from the left margin? You can do so by using this small macro that ...

Discover More

Deleting Everything Up to a Character Sequence

Sometimes you have too much information in a cell and you need to "pare down" what is there to get to the info you really ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Moving Drawing Objects

When you need to move a drawing object around your document, you use the mouse after you select the object. This tip ...

Discover More

Working With OLE Graphics

An explanation of the way Word imports graphics.

Discover More

Moving Object Anchors

When you insert an object into your document, it is anchored to a paragraph. If you want to change the paragraph to which ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five less than 7?

2016-10-16 20:56:08

Camila

Hi there,

thank you for your tips.
Just got a question about this statement: "This allows you to automatically or manually update the graphic in your document by having Word recopy it into your document"
How Can I do updated manually? When ever I open the doc it will updated my graphs.
I do reports every months and for example after finish February report I need keep a copy for Feb and start MArch, Althgouh If I need look back in Feb report I don't want see graph for March. Cheers


2014-12-01 19:54:37

Walter Hanig

Is there a way to see a catalog of linked pictures in a document? Ideally, the catalog would show me the file name and path.


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.