When you link an object, you give yourself the ability to automatically update the destination when changes are made to the source. For example, you might have an Excel file with budget calculations. If you link that worksheet into a PowerPoint presentation, then you can update the presentation with the latest budget figures.
- A linked object is typically not stored in the targed document -- it is stored in its original location. The target contains an address of source the object, and a picture of the object at its last update.
- As there is only one copy of the source, any updates to the source will appear in the target document as well.
- If the destination document is opened and cannot locate or access the source, the linked object will not update.
- Many target documents will also store a "picture" of the linked object so that, if the object is not available, the most-recently updated version will still appear.
- Linking is typically more efficient from a file size perspective than embedding.
- Linking is a more secure alternative to embedding for documents that will be sent externally, because the recipient will only see the picture of the linked object, not the entire linked document as is the case in embedding.