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Getting Rid of Workbook Links

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Getting Rid of Workbook Links.

Paula has a workbook that is linked to other workbooks. These are workbook links, not hyperlinks. She is looking for a way to break all of these types of links.

There are several ways you can approach such a task. One is to manually break the links by displaying the Data tab of the ribbon and clicking Edit Links in the Connections group. (If the Edit Links tool is not available, it means there are no links in the current workbook.) You can then select the links and click Break Link. You can even select all the links at once by creating a selection set (using Shift and Ctrl to compose the set) prior to clicking on Break Link.

If you prefer not to use the manual method, you can use a short macro to get rid of the links. The following is one example that will do the task:

Sub BreakLinks()
    Dim strLink
    For Each strLink In ActiveWorkbook.LinkSources
        ActiveWorkbook.BreakLink Name:=CStr(strLink), _
          Type:=xlExcelLinks
    Next strLink
End Sub

A third way to manage your links is to look to a third-party solution, such as FindLink or Name Manager. You can find them at the following page:

http://www.oaltd.co.uk/mvp/MVPPage.asp

FindLink was written by Bill Manville and Name Manager by Jan Karel Pieterse, both Excel MVPs.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9903) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Getting Rid of Workbook Links.

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Comments for this tip:

Caroline    20 Oct 2014, 10:39
When the links are not all gone after using "Break links", it may help to check de named ranges in the file and delete ranges that refer to another workbook.
If all else fails, removing the formulas using Copy / Paste values is also a solution.
Edgardo Avila    17 Oct 2014, 09:36
could you comment if there is any special type of "copy" that would do away with these links and not with the operations and formulas. Thanks
John Keegan    12 Feb 2012, 11:18
Allen,

It seems Edit Links > Break Link has a less than 100% success rate. I have used this feature hundreds of times on hundreds of files with hundreds of links to more than one file. Most times it never works the first time. More often I have to select this option, save and close the file, re-open, repeat.

Can you advise why this extended process is necessary? Why would a third-party solution be needed?

Thanks,

John

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