This tutorial shows how to insert a linked PowerPoint slide in Microsoft Word. Once linked, the slide can be updated as the original slide changes in PowerPoint.
In addition to linking and updating the slide, we will also look at how to prevent linked slides from updating automatically, and how to unlink the slide without removing it from your document.
Plus, don’t miss the bonus section at the end that discusses the difference between linking and embedding objects in Word.
- How to Insert a Linked PowerPoint Slide
- How to Update a Linked PowerPoint Slide
- How to Prevent a Linked PowerPoint Slide from Updating Automatically
- How to Unlink a PowerPoint Slide
- What Is the Difference between Linking and Embedding?
This tutorial is also available as a YouTube video showing all the steps in real time.
Watch more than 100 other writing-related software tutorials on my YouTube channel.
The images below are from Word for Microsoft 365. These steps also apply to Word 2021, Word 2019, Word 2016, and Word 2013. These steps don’t apply to Word for Mac or Word for the web.
Important Note about File Storage
This method isn’t appropriate for Word files that will be emailed to other people because the link to the PowerPoint slide only works when the Word file and PowerPoint file are in their original storage location.
One solution is to move the Word and PowerPoint files to cloud storage before creating the link. Then, email a link to the Word file in the cloud storage rather than attaching the file itself.
How to Insert a Linked PowerPoint Slide in Microsoft Word
- Open the PowerPoint file in PowerPoint.
- Right-click the slide in the thumbnails pane, and then select Copy in the shortcut menu. (Alternatively, you can select the slide, and then press Ctrl + C on your keyboard.)
- Open your document in Word.
- Place your cursor when you want to insert the PowerPoint slide in your document.
- Select the Home tab in the ribbon.
- Select the Paste menu arrow.
- Select Paste Special in the drop-down menu.
8 Select Paste Link in the Paste Special dialog box.
- Select Microsoft PowerPoint Slide Object in the As menu.
- Ensure that Display as icon is not checked. (If this option is checked, you will see a PowerPoint icon in your Word document instead of the slide.)
- Select the OK button.
The slide should appear in your Word document
- (Optional) Select the slide, and then use the handles to resize the slide, as necessary.
- (Optional) Select the slide, and then use the Align Left, Center, or Align Right buttons in the Paragraph group to reposition the slide.
Pro Tip: To open the slide in PowerPoint, right-click it, select Linked Slide Object in the shortcut menu, and then select Open Link in the submenu.
14. Save your Word file.
How to Update a Linked PowerPoint Slide in Microsoft Word
The link between PowerPoint and Word should update automatically when the Word file is saved and reopened. It should also update automatically when the PowerPoint file is changed while the Word file is open. However, you may want to update the link manually.
- Right-click the slide in the Word file, and then select Update Link in the shortcut menu.
The linked slide should update to match the same slide in the PowerPoint file.
How to Prevent a Linked PowerPoint Slide from Updating Automatically in Microsoft Word
You can prevent a linked PowerPoint slide from updating automatically. If you choose to do this, the slide can only be updated using the manual method shown above.
- Right-click the slide in Word, select Linked Slide Object in the shortcut menu, and then select Links in the Submenu.
- Ensure that the slide is selected in the Links dialog box.
- Select the Manual update option.
- Ensure that Locked is not selected because that option prevents the slide from updating automatically or manually.
- Select the OK button.
How to Unlink a PowerPoint Slide in Microsoft Word
You can remove the link between the PowerPoint slide in your Word file and the source PowerPoint file. When you do so, the slide will remain in your Word file as a regular image.
- Right-click the slide in Word, select Linked Slide Object in the shortcut menu, and then select Links in the submenu (see figure 13).
- Ensure that the slide is selected in the Links dialog box (see figure 14).
- Select the Break Link button.
- Select the Yes button in the dialog box asking if you are sure you want to break the link.
You can now modify the slide as you would a regular image.
What Is the Difference between Linking and Embedding in Microsoft Word?
In Word, you can embed or link objects such as PowerPoint slides or Excel spreadsheets.
When you embed an object, it won’t update when the source file is updated. However, you can open the object’s source file from within Word.
When you link an object, it can be updated automatically or manually when the source file is updated. Plus, you can still open the object’s source file from within Word.