Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Updating Automatic Links.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 31, 2021)
You already know that Word allows you to include many different elements in your documents, such as pieces of Excel worksheets, sounds, graphics, and other objects. You may even know that you can establish active links with these objects so that any changes in the objects can be reflected in your document, as well. You may not know, however, that you can control whether Word automatically updates links when you open a document. You control this feature in this manner:
Figure 1. The General tab of the Options dialog box.
Why would you not want to automatically update links when you open a document? The chief reason is time—if your document contains quite a few links, or if the source of those links is hard to reach (perhaps through a network), then opening your document can be extremely slow. To speed up opening your document, turn off automatic updating and things should be fine. Of course, if you want to make sure you have the latest updates of your linked objects, you will need to update them manually, or simply turn on the option and reopen your document.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (654) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Updating Automatic Links.
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!
Need to change the information that Word stores about you? Here's how to find the info.Discover More
The ubiquitous ruler appears at the top of every Word document. It is so common place, that you may forget that it is ...Discover More
The red and green wavy underlines used in Word can be a boon for proofing a document, but they are of little use if you ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.
Visit the WordTips channel on YouTube