How To Open a Word Document in Excel (With 2 Methods)

Updated January 5, 2023

Many professionals use Microsoft Excel to store, sort and analyze sets of data. Sometimes, they may choose to insert information from a Microsoft Word document into an Excel spreadsheet to organize their information. If you use Excel and Word often at work, it may benefit you to know how to open a Word document into a spreadsheet. In this article, we discuss how to open a Word document in Excel by explaining situations in which this is beneficial and providing two methods for accomplishing this, along with tips.

Why would you open a Word document in Excel?

You might open a Word document in Excel when you have information in Word that might be best to sort in a spreadsheet. For example, a financial adviser might take notes on a Word document while meeting with a client. Afterward, they might want to insert that data into Excel because it's more readable in a spreadsheet. Also, if a colleague sends you a Word document but you work primarily with Excel, you could open it in a spreadsheet.

Related: Advanced Excel Skills: Definition and Examples

How to open a Word document in Excel using a file converter

Here are six steps you can follow to open a Word document in Excel using a file converter:

1. Open a Word document

First, open Microsoft Word and click the "Open" tab to choose the document you'd like to convert to an Excel spreadsheet. If you've opened it recently, it might appear on the screen already. Alternatively, you could select the "Browse" option to open your computer's "File Explorer." It's important to ensure that you have the correct document with accurate information before converting it.

2. Select "File," "Save As" and save the document

After you open the correct document, select "File" from the toolbar. This is the furthest tab on the left side of the screen. Once you click "File," choose the "Save As" option. Clicking this presents a new screen with several saving options on it. Choose where you want to save the document and consider giving the document a title if you haven't already.

Change the file type to "Plain Text (.txt)" by clicking on the drop-down menu below the title text box and press "Save." After saving the document, a "File Conversion" window appears. Press "OK" at the bottom of the window.

3. Open an Excel spreadsheet and choose "Data"

Next, launch the Microsoft Excel program, and under the "New" section, select "Blank workbook." You could choose a spreadsheet you've already started, but inserting a Word document might change its formatting. In the toolbar at the top of the screen, select the "Data" tab. This option is between the "Formulas" and "Review" tabs. The "Data" menu provides you with different settings for adding, sorting and outlining data.

4. Click on "From Text/CSV" and choose your Word document

Once you click on the "Data" menu, locate the "Get & Transform Data" section. This is on the far left side of the screen. In this group, click "From Text/CSV," which is on the top of the left column. Pressing this prompts the "File Explorer" to open. Choose the Word document that you saved as a plain text file and select "Import."

5. Make personal changes in the following window

After you click "Import," a new window appears on the screen. This box lets you adjust the settings of your information from the Word document. There are three tabs: "File Origin," "Delimiter" and "Data Type Detection." The "Delimiter" drop-down menu allows you to change the character that separates your data, such as a comma, tab or space. You can change this if preferred. The other options are often already on the proper setting for importing a Word document.

Related: How To Sort Data in Excel (With Step-by-Step Instructions)

6. Click "Load" and save the spreadsheet

Once you've adjusted the settings for your inserted document, click "Load." This button is at the bottom left corner of the page. If preferred, you can press "Transform Data," which offers you various options to alter your information. After pressing "Load," your information from the Word document appears in your spreadsheet's cells. Consider confirming your changes by saving the document. Press the "File" tab followed by "Save As" to save the spreadsheet.

Related: 25 Best Excel Tips To Optimize Your Use

How to open a Word document in Excel by embedding

Here are six steps you can follow to embed a Word document in Excel:

1. Open Excel and choose your spreadsheet

The first step in this method is to open Excel and choose your document. Consider choosing a blank document if you'd like to start a new spreadsheet, or you can open a spreadsheet you've already started if preferred. This method inserts an embedment, which means you can easily attach a Word document without changing the cells you already have. If you have multiple tabs in your Excel sheet, choose the one in which you'd like to insert the document.

2. Click "Insert" in the toolbar

Once you've opened the correct spreadsheet and tab, find the "Insert" option on the toolbar. This menu is the third tab in the row between "Home" and "Draw." The "Insert" tab allows you to add different components to your spreadsheets, such as pictures, charts and symbols. You can use the "Insert" menu to attach your Word document to Excel.

3. Select "Text" and then "Object"

After you've selected the "Insert" tab, click on the "Text" button, which is on the right side of the screen. Choosing this prompts a drop-down menu to appear with several choices on it. Locate and click on "Objects" button. You can find this on the far right side of the drop-down menu. Selecting this option presents the "Object" window.

4. Choose either "Create a new file" or "Create from file"

The "Object" window provides you with two tabs. The first one is "Create New," and the second one is "Create from File." If you'd like, you could create a new Word document to insert into Excel. In the "Object type" menu, scroll until you find "Microsoft Word Document." Click on it and press "OK." If you already have a document with information in it, select the "Create from File" tab. Click on "Browse," find the correct Word document and select it. Press "Enter" and then "OK" to insert the document into the spreadsheet.

5. Adjust the formatting of the embedded document

Once you insert the document into the spreadsheet, consider editing the embedment to fit the formatting of the spreadsheet. This helps the entire document appear coherent and visually appealing. You can make it bigger or smaller by clicking and dragging any of the white dots surrounding the document. Click and drag on the document to move it around the spreadsheet. This is beneficial if it's covering some of the existing data. Double-clicking the embedment allows you to edit the text within the document.

Related: How To Alphabetize Excel Cells, Columns and Rows

6. Save your spreadsheet

After formatting your spreadsheet, you can save the embedded document and the changes you've made. Click on "File" in the toolbar, which is the first tab in the row. Next, select "Save As" from the column of options. From here, you can choose where you'd like to save the spreadsheet. Add a name for the document in the title text box and press "Save." You can then close the document when you're finished.

Upgrade your resume
Showcase your skills with help from a resume expert

Tips for using Word and Excel effectively

Consider following these tips for opening a Word document in Excel effectively:

  • Copy and paste text. You can copy and paste data from a Word document to Excel by selecting the "Ctrl" and "C" keys at the same time, followed by "Ctrl" and "V" simultaneously on your keyboard. This is a quick and easy way to insert data into your spreadsheet.

  • Use a file converter. There are several online file converters you can use to convert a Word document into Excel. Consider researching your options and following the instructions to convert your Word document.

  • Insert a spreadsheet into Word. If you'd like to insert an Excel spreadsheet into Word, open your document, click "Insert" and then select "Object." Then, select "Create from File," choose "Browse," click the correct Excel spreadsheet and press "OK."

  • Attach an icon. Follow steps one through three from the embedding method to attach a Word document into your Excel spreadsheet. Then, check the "Display as Icon" box and follow the remaining steps to insert the document as an icon that you can click to open. This can allow you to only open the document when you please rather than always having it up.

Please note that none of the companies mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

Is this article helpful?
Explore your next job opportunity on IndeedFind jobs
Indeed Career Services
Resume Services
Get your resume reviewed or rewritten
Upgrade your resume
Indeed Resume
Get noticed by employers
Upload a resume file
Interview Practice
Practice interviewing with an expert career coach
Book a session
Resume Samples
Kick start your search with templates
Browse resume samples
Salary Calculator
See your personalized pay range
Get your estimate
Company Reviews
Access millions of company reviews
Find companies

Explore more articles

  • How To Merge Slides in PowerPoint and Why It's Useful
  • Letter of Intent for Graduate School Admission (With Template)
  • The Importance of Social Studies (And 9 Benefits)
  • 18 Office Games That Promote Teamwork in the Workplace
  • 14 Goals of Entrepreneurship To Set for Yourself and Business
  • 46 Engaging Activities To Use for Fun Fridays at Work
  • SBAR Nursing: How To Use The SBAR Method (With Examples)
  • How To Create a Custom Function in Excel in 11 Steps
  • Leadership Traits: 10 Top Qualities of Effective Leaders
  • What Is Academic Writing? Definition and 7 Types to Consider
  • 9 Sales Commission Structures (With Formulas and Examples)
  • 11 Best Attention Getters For a Captivating Speech