Insert Excel REST chart into Word documents–an alternative approach

The most frequently documented way to embed an Excel chart object into a Word document via the Excel REST API is to insert into the Word document a new Quick Part via the Insert > Quick Parts > Field… > IncludePicture command and ensure the ‘Data not stored with document’ option is ticked. This option ensures that the chart is dynamically refreshed each time the Word document is opened:

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However, there is I believe a better way to achieve the same (and arguably a more usable) result in a much more user friendly and demo friendly manner. Rather than use the Insert > Quick Parts > Field… > IncludePicture option, insert the picture from the standard Insert > Picture option:

image 

Here’s the important step – don’t simply click on the Insert button. Instead, from the Insert button drop down, select Insert and Link:

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When you do this, your Excel chart is dynamically fetched and inserted into the Word document as you would expect.

But here’s the bonus…

If you use the first method, you need to close and reopen the Word document for the chart to refresh or wait several minutes and then press Ctrl+A, F9 to refresh the embedded chart – in my experience you have to wait 5 to 10 minutes, and sometimes even longer, for the chart to refresh. Consequently it’s usually quicker to close and reopen the Word document.

However, if you use the second method to embed a chart into your Word document, Ctrl+A, F9 updates the chart immediately. Not only does this method make the insertion of charts look more elegant but you can demonstrate dynamic data refreshes without have to shutdown and reopen Word.

Happy demoing….

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