What Does
Jul 07, 2021

What Does "¡Olé!" Mean? And What Does OLE Mean?

Maybe you've seen that movie where the bull fighter is barely missed by the charging bull and the crowd yells "¡Olé!" which in English means "Bravo" or "Well Done!" But what does OLE mean in computer terms? Object Linking and Embedding (OLE). And if you understand how to use it you will say it means "Bravo" or Well Done!"

The Geek Stuff
A compound document technology from Microsoft based on its Component Object Model (COM). OLE allows an object such as a graphic, video clip, spreadsheet, etc. to be embedded into a document, called the container application. If the object is playable, such as a video, when it is double clicked by the user, a media player is launched. If the object is allowed to be edited, the application associated with it (the server application) is launched.

An object can be linked instead of embedded, in which case the container application does not physically hold the object but provides a pointer to it. If a change is made to a linked object, all the documents that contain that same link are automatically updated the next time they are opened.

Understanding the Geek Stuff
All of the above simply means that you can place a FRAME with the embedded program inside another program and when you double-click that frame, the other program will start so you can edit what's inside that frame. In the meantime, in Flexi 21, you can actually print the image you see in the frame.

Flexi 21 and many of the previous versions allow OLE and it can be a great tool once you understand it. In fact, once you find reason to use it, you'll be yelling "¡Olé!"

Using OLE in Flexi 21
Which programs are allowed to be used with OLE are determined by Microsoft Windows, so hey, if yours differs don't call me or SAi call Bill Gates. Most common programs that are OLE capable are Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and some others we might use.

If needed, you can open File Explorer and choose a file, then use Properties to change the file association to another program. For instance, I do this for a jpg file. I change from Adobe Photoshop to Windows Paint so that I can see the image rather than an icon.

Here are some of the options for the OLE dialog. I recommend that you use ‘Create from File’ and choose ‘LINK’ to keep your file size smaller. By the way, if you don't intend on making changes in the original program, you can always go to the BITMAP menu and rasterize the file to covert it to a standard bitmap in Flexi 21.

Create from File mode dialog options:

Create from File:

Insert an existing file as an OLE object.

Create New:

Open an OLE-enabled program to create a new OLE object. See below.


Click on Browse to select the file to insert. This file does not have to be in your project folder.


Inserts a link to the file instead of embedding it in your project. Recommended – this reduces system overheads.

Display as icon:

Displays an icon to represent the object in the editor instead of the contents of the OLE object file.

Create New mode dialog options:

Create New:

Opens the associated program to create an OLE object and embed it in your project file. This method is not recommended. It creates considerable system overheads and you cannot edit the object as an external file. Create from File (see above) in Link mode is always preferable.

Create from File:

Switches to Create from File mode. See above.

Object Type:

Select the program with which you wish to create the document for the OLE link. Only use programs that generate documents that can be converted to a single bitmap graphic, such as Word or Excel.

Display as icon:

Displays an icon to represent the object in the editor instead of the contents of the OLE object file.

Let me show you an easy example of using OLE in Flexi 21.

Open a new document in Flexi 21 and then go to ‘EDIT’ and choose ‘Insert New Object’. This tells Flexi to open a menu that contains the names of all the applications allowed on your system for OLE use.

I'm going to choose ‘Open Document Presentation’ which, once chosen, opens PowerPoint. I'll pick a template and edit the initial slide and once done, save and close the application. The result will appear in Flexi 21.

Here is the design I made in PowerPoint. And here it is back in Flexi.

Now the design is linked to the original program so if I make changes there, they appear updated in Flexi. The nice thing is I can take advantage of the original program content and features and then I can make copies, resize and print everything from Flexi 21! "¡Olé!"

I can send this actual rendering right to my printer after resizing etc., or I can go to the bitmap and rasterize it if I want to make it part of Flexi 21 and break the link to PowerPoint.

You can use this OLE method with other programs, including Excel, Word and others. Give it a try and send us your examples! Keep in mind, if you have never used this feature, it could take some time, patience and practice to find the right workflow. It's not always the right solution, but it is pretty cool when it is!

Want to learn even more? Visit our Learning Website where we will be releasing a full training course on Flexi 21 shortly! In the meantime, got questions? Email me at

Watch a video example of using OLE in Flexi 21: