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: Linking Word Documents.

Linking Word Documents

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated November 13, 2021)
This tip applies to Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Besides being able to link information from other Windows applications into your document, you can link other Word documents to your current document. This comes in real handy if you are working with a document that needs to pull information from other documents. For instance, you might have a contract that has standard clauses in it. These clauses may be stored in other documents and then be pulled into the contract as necessary. If you are using Word 97, this is done in the following manner:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the document inserted and linked.
  2. Choose File from the Insert menu. Word displays the Insert File dialog box.
  3. Specify a filename for the document you want inserted and linked.
  4. Make sure the Link to File check box is selected.
  5. Click on the OK button.

If you are using Word 2000, 2002, or 2003, the process is just a bit different:

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the document inserted and linked.
  2. Choose File from the Insert menu. Word displays the Insert File dialog box.
  3. Specify a filename for the document you want inserted and linked.
  4. Click your mouse on the pull-down arrow at the right side of the Insert button. Word displays a menu of the different ways you can insert the document.
  5. Choose Insert As Link from the menu.

This process results in Word displaying the other file, but the INCLUDETEXT field is used instead of the actual text from the file. The advantage to adding links in this way instead of inserting the other file completely is that the original documents (the ones you are linked to) can be independently updated, and those changes are reflected in the document with the links. (Provided, of course, that you update the links in the document by selecting the link and pressing F9.)

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1316) 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: Linking Word Documents.

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. ...

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