How to Convert Excel Spreadsheets to Word

Although you can't export data from Microsoft Excel -- or save the Excel spreadsheet -- as a Word document, you can copy the data to Word using the Paste Options button. To actually convert Excel files -- XLS or XLSX -- to Word documents is not possible without the use of other software.

Display the Paste Options Button in Word

In some cases, you may need to configure Microsoft Word to display the Paste Options button. Without the button, you may not be able to change the format of the pasted data.

Step

Click the File button in Microsoft Word and select Options from the menu to display the Word Options window.

Opening the Word Options window.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft
Checking the Show Paste Options Button When Content Is Pasted box in Word.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Select the Advanced tab, scroll down to the Cut, Copy And Paste section and check the Show Paste Options Button When Content Is Pasted box to display the button. Click OK to apply the changes.

Copy the Data from Excel

Step

Open the spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel and then select the data you wish to copy.

Selecting the data in an Excel spreadsheet.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

  • To select a portion of the spreadsheet, click the first cell and drag with the mouse until you reach the last cell.
  • To select an entire row or column, click the row or column header.
  • To select specific cells that are not adjacent, hold Ctrl and click each cell. You can also select several rows and columns by holding Ctrl and clicking the column or row headers.
  • To select the entire spreadsheet, press Ctrl-A.
Copying data from Excel to the clipboard.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Click the Copy button in the Clipboard group on the Home tab to copy the selected data to the clipboard. Alternatively, use the Ctrl-C keyboard shortcut.

Paste the Data in the Word Document

Step

Click anywhere in the Word document and press Ctrl-V to paste the data from the clipboard into the document. Click the Paste Options button that displays in the lower right corner of the data to change the paste options.

Pasting data from the clipboard into the Word document.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft
Selecting a different paste option.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Select a different paste option from the menu that displays when you click the Paste Options button. Mouse over the icons to preview the changes and also view the names of the paste options.

Step

  • Use the Keep Source Formatting option to use the format from Excel -- the data is not placed in a table in Word.
  • Use the Use Destination Styles option to use the format from the Word document -- the data is placed inside a table.
  • Use the Link And Keep Source Formatting or Link And Use Destination Styles option to create a link to the Excel spreadsheet. When you edit the data in the linked spreadsheet, the changes are reflected in the Word document.
  • Use the Picture option to paste the data from Excel as a picture. Note that you can't edit the data in the picture.
  • Use the Keep Text Only option to keep only the text. Each row is pasted in a separate paragraph and cells are separated by tab spaces.