Embedding pro's and con's - 01 Nov 2007

An embedded object has 'pros' and 'cons:'

  • You have an independent copy of the data and can use all of the power of the source application to work with the data and its formatting. You do not need access to the original file to make changes.
  • Object can be edited by source application.
  • Does not update when the source updates (if there is a source).
  • Requires more RAM than copy/paste. But this is not a practical concern on most computers today.
  • An embedded object can add significantly to the file size of your destination document, because the entire source document is embedded in the target document, regardless of how little of the source you selected.
  • Because the entire source document is embedded in the target document, a user can activate the object and 'look behind' it to examine any part of the embedded file. This may expose sensitive, restricted, or confidential data, functions, or models.
    You can address this concern by cutting the embedded object and pasting it back as a picture.
    See the Security Note, below, for more details.

Security Note

When you embed part of a document, you’re actually embedding the entire document. Beware of this for security issues! If you don’t want the entire document to be “attached,” then do the following:

Copy the region of the original (source) and paste (or link) it into a new document in the same application. Save it. Then copy the region from the new document and embed it (Paste Special – Object) into the final, target document. By having a “middleman” document that contains only the portion of the original document that you want, you are ensuring that the target document does not contain sensitive or proprietary information.

Alternatively, before sending the document to a recipient that should not see proprietary information, select the embedded object, choose Copy, then choose the Paste Special command and paste as a Picture. That will put into the document a picture of the embedded object. Then delete the embedded object itself.

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