Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 July 26, 2014)

1

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 2013Budget.xls workbook:

=+[2013Budget.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, and 2013. 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

Space after a Table

Those familiar with styles are used to setting vertical spacing before or after paragraphs. You can get just the look you ...

Discover More

Watermarks in Columns

If you are creating small flyers (two per page), you may want to include a watermark graphic in the background of each of ...

Discover More

Applying Formatting in Lists

If you want to change the formatting applied to numbers or bullets in your lists, you'll appreciate the information in ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Changing Portions of Many Hyperlinks

If you need to modify the URL used in a large number of hyperlinks, you can do so by using a macro and a little ...

Discover More

Generating Automatic Links to Audio Files

Need to create links to many filenames on your system? Here are a couple of quick ways to get just the connection you need.

Discover More

Finding Wayward Links

Combining workbooks that have cross-links to each other can offer some special challenges. This tip examines how you can ...

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}] 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 seven minus 2?

2015-08-12 16:28:26

dave

Great tip, works great for routine stuff. But having to open all sources is a real time killer - working on a report with input from over 400 workbooks. If you can achieve same result without having to open sources, let me know.


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.