How to Change Embedded File Name in Word, Excel and Office Documents?

When you embed an object in Office documents, the original file name and the default icon will be selected automatically. Here is a step by step process, if you are looking for changing the embedded file name in any office documents like Word, Excel or PowerPoint. We explained the process with Word 2010 and the same can be applied to other Office products. There are two scenarios where you may be interested in changing the embedded object name:

  • When embedding a new file
  • Changing the name of already embedded file

Changing Object Name During Insertion

  • Go to “Insert” menu and click on the “Object” button to embed a file in your document.
File Embedding in Word
File Embedding in Word
  • You will see a popup showing two tabs – Create New and Create from File.
  • Choose “Create from File” option and locate the file using “Browse” button.
  • Here, we inserted a file name “Chapte 1.docx”.
  • Click on the “Change Icon” button.
Change Icon & File name
Change Icon & File name
  • A new popup window will open.
  • Change the Icon to be displayed in the embedded document.
  • Enter the new file name in the input text box for Caption.

Choose Icon & Enter File name
Choose Icon & Enter File name

Here is an example of how the files will be displayed in your document.

  • Original file with name “Chapter 1.docx”
  • Changed file name as “Test File.docx”

You can also remove the extension of the file if you want and the embedded file will open with the default program available in that computer.

Original & Changed Files
Original & Changed Files

Changing Name of Already Embedded Object

  • When you want to change an already embedded object, just right click on the object and select “Document Object” and click on “Convert…” option.
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Option in Word for Embedded Object Change
Option in Word for Embedded Object Change
  • Click on “Change Icon” in the pop-up window and then enter new file name in “Caption” text box.
Change Already Embedded File Name
Change Already Embedded File Name
  • Click “OK” to close the pop-up windows and you can see the file name is changed with the new name.

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26 thoughts on “How to Change Embedded File Name in Word, Excel and Office Documents?”

  1. If I want to embed an excel file with Excel, I do the following to name it what I want to, without having it re-name it for me

    On excel tab,
    1. Insert Word file, but not as icon. You will have a square area that is Word within excel
    2. In the embedded Word, I will now embed an excel file. That way, excel will not change the name back after saving.

    Reply
    • Hi Daryl – I am typically embedding a PDF or a JPEG. Whenever I embed, I have to change the file name to delete the Path location that always shows up in front of the file name. Is there a way to permanently make it so that the Path location doesn’t show up? It would save me a lot of time if I didn’t have to go in and constantly delete the Path. Thank you.

      Reply
      • Mary – try this it works for me…

        Insert Object –> Create from File –> Browse for the file –> selct the required file —–> then delete the path location from the ‘File Name:’ filed –> tick Display as icon.

        Excel remembers the path for embedment of the file and only shows the file name you entered in the excel spread sheet :)

        cheers

        Reply
        • Thanks for posting. It does not work in all cases. First in all cases it will show generic packager icon when you remove the file name. This will prevent you to understand the type of embedded file whether it is PDF or docx.
          Second, for PNG images it still shows the file path without the name and convert the object into a Packager Shell Object. You need to follow a lengthy process for assigning correct display icon.

          Reply
          • I’m not sure if its something we are doing when embedding objects in a MS Word file but we are curious why one is Acrobat Document Object and another might be Packager Shell Object. Or does it matter? Kind regards, Paula

          • @ Paula Marshall – Though you are not doing anything, that’s the way Office applications work. The icons and the properties are changing based on the inserted object type.

  2. Thanks for the answer, but I think it only applies in a PC environment — Apple devices need not apply.

    I have a Word 2016 doc with lots of embedded Word, excel, powerpoint and pdf’s embedded. I’m able to open all of them with my PC, no problem, but my colleagues with Mac’s can’t open them at all.

    While I can appreciate the workarounds, it doesn’t help me from a business perspective when I want to send a doc to dozens of people. How am I to know what OS they are using? And even if I did, the procedure to is too complicated — even if it did work in an Apple environment.

    I wanted to point this out because you’re answer sounds universal when (apparently — I’m still doing the research) it does not apply to people with Apple products.

    Reply
  3. I have recently updated to Office 365, The Document convert option is not coming when i right click on the embedded object, can you please help me out.

    Reply
  4. NOT possible in Excel 2013. YOu can change caption, but once you save, reverts back. I guess they to take one of Bill Gates mansions away.

    Reply
  5. Is there a way, that we do not see Full File-path in the Caption by default (for the embedded object, under Change Icon)?

    I have to embed about 15-20 documents every day, and have to remove file path from the Caption. I want it to show only the Filename instead. Can that be changed somewhere?

    Reply
      • I have this issue too! In Excel I only want the default to be the filename not the entire path! Is there a way to permanently fix this?

        Reply
  6. I successfully change the file name, but when I save the file (the larger file that this smaller file is embedded within) it flips back to say just “document” every time. (that isn’t even what I changed it from, it had a descriptive file name originally, I just tweaked it). Can you help?

    Reply
    • Hope you are trying with the file on your local computer and not on the network. Sometimes the name can’t be changed when you are editing documents on the SharePoint or any other online network portal.

      Reply
  7. How can I change the name or location of the embedded object if I cannot open the Word file because it keeps hanging on trying to find the old location?

    Reply
    • Refer the second section of changing the name of already embedded file if that helps. Click on the “Browse” to link new file in “Change Icon” popup.

      Reply
  8. That’s easy enough to do when you first insert the object. How do you go about changing the name of an object which has already been embedded in a file you receive from someone else, for instance?

    Reply
    • It is possible to do it. The article is updated with the details of changing the file name of an already embedded object as well.

      Reply

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