object linking and embedding (OLE)

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Microsoft software technology by which information from two or more different types of files (such as graphics, spreadsheet, and word processing) can be inserted (imported) into a document, stored as another file, in two ways. In 'linking,' the files remain separate but if information in one file is updated, the linked information in the other file is automatically updated. In 'embedding,' two or more files become one file but the inserted items (objects) retain their independent existence and can be modified by double-clicking in them to call up the application by which they were originally created.

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