Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Easily Changing Links.

Easily Changing Links

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 14, 2019)

Excel allows you to link information from one worksheet to another, or even from one workbook to another. Many people do this very thing when they use one worksheet as a "summary" overview of information contained in other worksheets.

If you organize your data in this manner, you may be wondering about the best way to change links within your worksheet. When you link information, Excel keeps track within the link of the source of the link. For instance, the following link refers to cell C7 in the OctoberData worksheet of the 2019Budget.xls workbook:

=+[2019Budget.xls]OctoberData!$C$7

If you have quite a few of these links in a worksheet, it can be bothersome to update each link when you change the source workbook or worksheet used by the links. You could, of course, use Excel's find and replace feature to make the desired changes, but there is an easier way: Use the INDIRECT and ADDRESS functions.

For instance, let's assume that you have cells containing a workbook name (J1), a worksheet name (J2), a numeric row number (J3), and a column number (J4). In this instance, you could use the following formula to specify a link:

=INDIRECT(ADDRESS(J3,J4,1,TRUE,"["&J1&"]"&J2))

The result is that Excel calculates an indirect address based on the contents of the cells. If you want to change the place from which Excel pulls information, all you need to do is change the contents of cells J1 through J4 so they represent the desired source.

You should note that you will need to have the source workbooks open in order to use this approach. If they are not open, Excel won't be able to update the information as desired.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11147) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Easily Changing Links.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Removing Hyperlinks without a Macro, Take Two

Need to get rid of hyperlinks in a worksheet? Here's an easy way to do it without using a macro.

Discover More

Using the COLUMN Function

Need to know the column number for use in a formula? The worksheet function you want is the COLUMN function, described in ...

Discover More

Preventing Someone from Recreating a Protected Worksheet

When you share a protected workbook with other people, you may not want them to get around the protection by creating a ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Getting Rid of Workbook Links

Excel allows you to easily link information from one workbook to another. If you want to get rid of links that may be ...

Discover More

Changing Link References

If you use UNC paths in your links to external information, those paths may need to be changed at some point. You can ...

Discover More

Inserting Hyperlinks

Connect your worksheets with other workbooks or with the world of the Internet. The ability to add hyperlinks makes this ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six more than 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.