Microsoft Word logo on a gray background

The good thing about the Microsoft Office suite is all the programs in the collection work pretty well together. One example is the ability to link or embed Microsoft PowerPoint slides in a Microsoft Word document. Here’s how it’s done.

Linking vs. Embedding

Whether you link or embed the PowerPoint slide in the Word document, the goal is always the same: providing an external reference that compliments the content within the document. However, there are some subtle differences between linking and embedding that you should be aware of.

The difference between linking and embedding an object is how the object’s data is stored and how the content within the object is updated. Since the data is stored differently between the two methods, the process of updating the content will also be different when that time comes.

RELATED: How to Link or Embed an Excel Worksheet in a Word Document

If you link an object, then that link simply sends the reader to the location of the source object when clicked. The file itself doesn’t actually store any data from the linked object to the file. This is advantageous if the object you’re linking to is large in size and you need to reduce the file size of your Word document. The downside is that if the location of the linked object changes, the link in your Word document will break.

If you embed an object, then you don’t need to worry about whether the location of the object changes, as it becomes part of the document itself. That is, Word stores the object data in the actual Word file. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about broken links in your document. The downside is that when the object is updated, those updates aren’t reflected in your embedded object because there’s no link connecting it to the source. Also, you’ll need to consider that the file size increases with embedded objects.

Link or Embed a PowerPoint Slide in a Word Document

The difference between being able to link or embed a Microsoft PowerPoint slide in a Microsoft Word document is only one click.

First, open the PowerPoint presentation that contains the slide you want to link or embed. From there, select the desired file by clicking its preview thumbnail.

Selected slide in PowerPoint

Next, copy the slide to your clipboard by using the Ctrl+c (Cmd+c on Mac) keyboard shortcut, or by right-clicking the slide and selecting “Copy” from the context menu.

Copy option in context menu

Now, open the Word document you would like to link or embed the slide to. In the “Clipboard” group of the “Home” tab, click the down arrow under “Paste.”

down arrow under paste option

In the drop-down menu, click “Paste Special.”

Paste special option

The “Paste Special” window will appear. If you’ve copied the PowerPoint slide to your clipboard, you’ll see a “Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Object” option in the box under “As.” Click it to select the option. Next, to embed the slide, click the bubble next to “Paste.” To link the slide, click the bubble next to “Paste Link.” Select “OK” to insert the linked or embedded object.

Options to link or embed to PowerPoint slide

The Microsoft PowerPoint slide is now linked or embedded in your Microsoft Word document.

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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