FYI: Links problems in Office Products (Paste Special, etc)

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Jul 29, 2003, 2:12:47 PM7/29/03
Problem Description:

I have created a book I intend to publish using Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
I am embedding hundreds of different PowerPoint slides and Excel
tables/charts into the book using the Word/Edit... Paste Special... command.
This is a multi-document book, which is going through revisions all the
time. As each chapter/document is revised (0.2 to version 0.3, etc.), it is
copied into a new folder so that the revisions can be managed properly. The
same is true of PowerPoint and Excel documents. However, this is a real
nightmare from a link perspective. The links keep getting broken and there
seems to be a very limited means to update links.

In fact, the Word/Edit.../Links... support is almost non-existent and the
links edit window is so squeezed, you cannot see the links clearly or
properly. In fact, you cannot seem to resize the window or change column
widths in the window to make the task any easier.

How can I overcome these major limitations in Word and the linkage feature??
I am desperate because I spend countless hours ungrouping captions,
re-pasting new copies of the objects, and then reformatting everything just
to get things back to where they were. Are there ways around these

In addition, when I link tables from Excel into Word, Word will not show
Special characters properly. For instance, Symbols (e.g. code 2190 (left
arrow)) show properly in Excel but show up as big question marks in the
Edit/Paste Special... object that appears in Word. No matter what I try to
do, I cannot get these symbols to appear properly in Word. How do I
overcome this limitation in Word/Excel linkage? Does Word not recognize
Unicode? I cannot see any way around this and the symbols in
Word/Insert.../Symbols... appear to be the same as in Excel.

Please help me out of this long-term mess.


Problem Area: Other

Frequency of problem: Always Happens

Operating system / version: Microsoft Windows XP Professional - 5.1.2600

Computer manufacturer and model: Dell Computer Corporation, Inspiron 7500

Processor model and speed: I586II, 751 MHz

Memory (RAM): 392.688 MB


Hi Mickey,

Thank you for using Microsoft Online Support. My name is Genevieve and I
will be working with you to resolve this issue.

In your message you've indicated that you are having problems with linked
files in a word document. If I have misstated the issue, please let me know.

The issue of the links not being updated because you are saving them in
different folders is by design. As soon as you change the location of the
linked file, Word will not be able to find it. Word needs to have a file
name and path to be able to update it. One trick you can use to make sure
you are selecting the right link in Edit link for the image you want is to
first select the image, then go to Edit/Links. The link that is highlighted
will be the link to the selected image.

As for the symbols, I was able to reproduce and also reproduce from a Word
file to another Word file. I have submitted a bug report and the developers
will be looking at the report to see if it will be fixed in upcoming
versions of Word.

Please let me know if you have additional questions concerning this issue.



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Problem Description: Hi Genevieve,

I appreciate that the links are broken and, I guess, I can see why they are
broken "by design" since it means that things have been moved. However, as
all things in life get reorganized in organizations including hard drives
and server files, this requirement to redirect the association of two or
more files and their related links is extremely important to make this
feature usable. Therefore, there has to be a "Macro" or "Global" change
capability to make administration feasible. This is not a "nice to have" but
a "must have" feature to make links manageable.

In addition, the Links window that can be opened for editing cannot be
resized, the columns cannot be resized, there is no scrolling function or
anything to make administration of the existing links even possible without
extreme problems.

These are the more serious aspects of this issue and the problems I face. I
do not think the Links feature is at all well defined or laid out for use.
It appears to be more of an after-thought.

Are there macros or global commands to view, edit, re-direct or recompile
all existing links in a word document as it is move around on drives,
servers, organizational ownerships, etc?

I look forward to hearing about any solutions for right now and in future
upgrades to the links area.

Please let me know



Hello Mickey,

Unfortunately, there are no utilities that can give you this ability. I
have also consulted our developers to see if I should recommend you open a
professional case to get a sample macro but there are too many variables to
consider this for a VBA sample macro and our Word VBA programmers have run
into many issues with trying to code around this. One thing that is
recommended is to have the same naming convention of the server and
directory structure that you originally had.

There is a 3rd-Party product you might want to consider but as it is not our
product, we do not support it: Crystal Software has created a tool called
WordPipe that can be used to find and replace existing UNC link paths.

Here is their website:

Below is a location to download their evaluation:


Note: The third-party contact information included in this response is
provided to help you find the technical support you need. This contact
information is subject to change without notice. Microsoft in no way
guarantees the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

On the other hand, I believe enhancing the Edit/Link window to make the
columns resizable and adding a better scrolling function is a good idea. I
have submitted these suggestions internally to improve the future version of
Word. I encourage you to do the same by filling in the following form:

Let me know if this helps and if you have additional questions.




Hi Genevieve,

I reviewed the product suggestion and there is no clear indication that the
product actually handles the link editing that is needed. I will try the
demo but the product is too pricey ($250US) for something that I would
expect to be part of the Word functionality.

I have sent off our discussion notes to the suggestion site you identified.
However, I am extremely disappointed that a major functionality that is part
of the Microsoft focus for enterprise support and Office 2002 object sharing
is not going to be fixed right now. I really don't see why this should be
left to some future product.

In any case, there does not seem to be much you or I can do and I am pretty
well stuck. However, I thank you for your efforts.

I will be posting the details of this case to the Word newsgroups to let
others know about the situation and that a possible solution is somewhere in
the future.

Take care,


Shauna Kelly

Jul 30, 2003, 8:02:57 AM7/30/03
Hi Mickey

If your pictures or other objects are in-line (not floating), then Alt-F9 will expose the field codes, including the path. You can
then search and replace the paths. Alt-F9 to hide the field codes. Then, ctrl-a and F9 to update all the fields.

If, however, the pictures or other objects are floating, then you would have to un-float them first.

Hope this helps.

Shauna Kelly. Microsoft MVP.
Melbourne, Australia

"Mickey" <> wrote in message news:zOyVa.46037$


Jul 31, 2003, 7:20:42 AM7/31/03
Hi Mickey,

To overcome Word's limitations in this area, I coded my
own Field Link Updater. It's a Word document containing a
link updating macro, and you can download a copy from:

As for the Excel problem, have you tried using an embedded
Excel workbook? That would allow you to use Excel's normal
formula-based approach for linking to your source, and
should overcome the character problem.

PS: Remove NO.SPAM from the above before replying.



Jul 31, 2003, 12:48:56 PM7/31/03

Thnks for the tip Shauna. However, this tip does not work or work easily
for multiple linked objects from multiple documents. Certainly, it shows
the Ref numbers but does not show the link paths to other drivers and

Also, I have found that pressing Alt F9 twice tends to change the object
page location left on the page, for some reason. To correct this you have
to go to each object and realign them.

Too many wied things to handle.

Take care,


"Shauna Kelly" <> wrote in message

Cindy Meister -WordMVP-

Aug 1, 2003, 6:48:55 AM8/1/03
Hi Mickey,

> Thnks for the tip Shauna. However, this tip does not work or work easily
> for multiple linked objects from multiple documents. Certainly, it shows
> the Ref numbers but does not show the link paths to other drivers and
> servers.

You shouldn't be seeing any "REF numbers" on things linked in from other
apps. LINK, IncludeText or IncludePicture fields, yes. If you're seeing REF
numbers, can you explain EXACTLY how you created these links? Have you tried
embedding an object in your document, then copy/paste linking from within
that object?

> Also, I have found that pressing Alt F9 twice tends to change the object
> page location left on the page, for some reason. To correct this you have
> to go to each object and realign them.

Can't say I've ever seen anything like this. Unless, perhaps, you've tried
inserting a picture in a text box, then applied text wrapping to the picture?
(Which you shouldn't)

Cindy Meister
INTER-Solutions, Switzerland (last update Jan 24 2003)

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