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Common Questions: Object Linking and Embedding, Data Exchange

This article was previously published under Q122263
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This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
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The following are answers to common questions about OLE, dynamic dataexchange (DDE), and Microsoft Works version 3.0 for Windows.
  1. What is dynamic data exchange?

    Dynamic data exchange (DDE) is a Windows mechanism that permits the two-way passing of instructions and data between applications. There are many ways of using DDE, including linking, remote control, and embedding.
  2. What is OLE?

    OLE (object linking and embedding) allows users to integrate data from different applications. Object linking allows users to share a single source of data for a particular object. The document contains the name of the file containing the data, along with a picture of the data. When the source is updated, all the documents using the data are updated as well.

    With object embedding, one application (referred to as the "source") provides data or an image that will be contained in the document of another application (referred to as the "destination"). The destination application contains the data or graphic image, but does not understand it or have the ability to edit it. It simply displays, prints, and/or plays the embedded item. To edit or update the embedded object, it must be opened in the source application that created it. This occurs automatically when you double-click the item or choose the appropriate edit command while the object is highlighted.

    While embedding doesn't allow users to have a single source of data, it does make it easier to integrate applications. An embedded object contains the actual data for the object, the name of the application that created it, and a picture of the data.
  3. Does Works for Windows support DDE?

    No. The linking and embedding capability of Works' OLE functionality is related to DDE but is different. In addition, OLE does not support data remote control. This means there is no way to control Works from another Windows application.
  4. How does Works for Windows handle OLE internally?

    Works for Windows supports both linking and embedding internally.


    Works spreadsheets and charts may be linked to a Word Processor document or a Database form.


    The following Works objects can be embedded in a Word Processor document or a Database form:

    • Works Spreadsheet
    • Works Chart
    • Microsoft Draw
    • Clip art from the Microsoft ClipArt Gallery
    • Microsoft Note-It
    • Microsoft WordArt

    NOTE: Although the Works Word Processor and Database form are OLE destinations, neither may be used as an OLE source application. Therefore, you cannot link or embed from a Word Processor or Database document into another document.
  5. What Microsoft applications other than internal Works modules will work as OLE servers with Works?

    Works for Windows can create a link from any source application that supports OLE 1.0 or 2.0. This includes (but is not limited to):
    • Microsoft Word for Windows
    • Microsoft Excel
    • Paintbrush
    • Microsoft PowerPoint
    • Sound Recorder

  6. Is anyone other than Microsoft writing products that take advantage of linking and/or embedding?

    Yes. While Microsoft was heavily involved in the formation of OLE, it is an open specification that was developed in cooperation with other leading independent software vendors. OLE is applicable to any graphical application that can create or display information.
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Article ID: 122263 - Last Review: 09/26/2003 20:14:36 - Revision: 2.0

  • Microsoft Works 3.0 Standard Edition
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