Append or Link

Hi I’m a blender noob and have a simple question…
I rigged and softbodied a character on a .blend, now i want to append it to a different file, but i want a linked copy (so the changes made to the character file, effect the other file in real-time).

I’m slightly confused as to the difference between link / append,

which should i use and what are the benefits of both?
also if this cannot be done in real-time (as I’m working on both files at the same time) then is there a refresh link button i should know about?

I think you have good understanding of Append and Linking. Here is the description on it in the manual. In your case, if you are working alone, adding a Scene can do what you want to do to keep things organized and separated. But if you have many people working on the project all at once, Linking will keep everyone up to date.

Append is like copying the object and its components into your file. It actually comes over and sits in your file. There for it can be edited and changed. Linked object can not be edited from your file.

Remember that linking is just a pointer to an object in different file. Once you tell it where to look for it everything must stay where it is. You can’t move the file around to different location. Linking is a pointer to a file, so if some is in the process of revising the linked object, it will not show until it get saved. And the change will not show until you recall it by opening the file.

I don’t know if there is a button to refresh links.