Re: Word and PowerPoint, linking ( OLE , FIELD CODES , LINK )

Subject: Re: Word and PowerPoint, linking ( OLE , FIELD CODES , LINK )
From: Ned Bedinger <nbedinger -at- USWEST -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 1998 12:37:35 -0800

In re:

>From:   Barclay Blanchard [SMTP:Bblancha -at- MANHATTANASSOCIATES -dot- COM]
>        I used the Edit -> Paste Special option to link to the slides.
>        Here's the field code for a slide link:
>       { LINK PowerPoint Slide 8 "path:\\filename.ppt." "395" \a \p }

You might get a more thorough treatment from one of the newsgroups in the hierarchy.  I think the main refrain here for people trying to build object documents is "Use FrameMaker".

Anyway, here's my $2 worth, based on long and trying experinece with OLE, Powerpoint, and Word.  You vill excuse the disorganized state of my thoughts, but this is a big deal topic that I've never quite gotten a grip on.

Is revision tracking on in Word?  If it is turned on, you'll see hideously bloated docs that will simulate a locked-up machine (they're so big Word/Windows gets overwhelmed and can't scroll or update the screen very well).  This condition quickly leads to corruption of the document. SOmething as simple as a TOC field can generate endless revisions that are kept in the doc when Revision Tracking is on.

Your link is to the entire ppt file, albeit to a specific slide in the file.  This may be adding up to big Word files very quickly !!  Do a test, one link formed this way in a new word doc and then saved.  How big is the file?

In your example, there is a number referring to Powerpoint's internal tracking number for slides, but my Powerpoint and Word from Office '97 won't reveal this number to me. If I Edit>Paste Special > Insert as Link, the slide image in the Word doc will not show a field code text when I hit <SHIFT>+<F9> -- it  does nothing.  Are you using VB to investigate the Pwerpoint object?

 I have used the internal number in the past, but not with this version of Word.  If you're mixing PP from Office '97 with older version of Word, lookout for problems!   Are you working with an existing powerpoint from a previous version of PP?   

Your Link field saves the object as a Picture, not a Powerpoint slide.  The \p field is where this decision is made for Word.  This may have some bearing on how Word interacts with Powerpoint  when you double-click on it in Word to edit. If Powerpoint is not open when you try to edit the Word copy of a slide, does it open in Picture editor?

In my test run here, I incurred  183k of filesize per powerpoint slide that I inserted by Edit >Paste Special>Insert as Link  in a Word doc.  Oddly, I couldn't then switch any of the slides in Word to to Field view to see the Link field text. Since the Store With Document checkbox (see \d flag discussion below) wasn't offered during the Paste Special dialog, I couldn't test the Link field with \d flag for file size improvement.

If you don't really need to link for editing in Word, drop that!  It complicates your doc and you don't need unnecessary complications unser Word and OLE. Even when it comes down to a question of linking or embedding simple GIF files in a Word doc, you're better off (les trouble) embedding, sorrry to say. If you can get away with a HYPERLINK instead of a LINK, it might work better and it does display the slide in the word doc as an image, not a hot link.

If you have to stick with LINK, I have the following thoughts for it:

Your link field is missing the flag that would keep the doc size small:  your link field should have a '\d' in it to store the object in powerpoint, not in word, like this: { LINK PowerPoint Slide 8 "path:\\filename.ppt." "395" \a \p \d }. It is documented in online help, but isn't an option when you go through the Edit >Paste Special dialogs. it doesn't seem to conserve size in this case, in my test.

OLE linking in Word has been so variable through the last three or so iterations of Word, your sucess with it really depends on which version you're working with. 

Powerpoint has had its own problems with OLE and as your group points out, it seems to be only marginally adequate as a OLE server.  I've had big problems with the internal reference number (the "395" in your example) changing when I add or remove slides, hope that's fixed or you'll have plenty o' problems with your Link fields, probably on the night before the doc is due to be


Edward Bedinger
Technical Communications
Edword Co.

If this were merely my opinion, I'd probably keep it to myself.
My employer is, nonetheless, not responsible for my expressions.

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