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Excel Linking

At times you may want to use information that exists in a different Excel file. This use of external information is referred to as "linking" in Excel. This lesson will show you the basics of creating workbook links in Excel.

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Creating Two Files

This example will require that you create two files link1.xls and link2.xls. Let's start with creating link1.xls.

This is a very simple file and only contains the text "this workbook" in cell A1. Save this file as link1.xls.

Now let's make link2.xls.

This worksheet only has one data entry in C1 with the value "has a link". Save this file as link2.xls in the same directory as link1.xls.

Excel Linking: The Reference

As you can probably tell, we are going to link to the information in our second file so that our first file has the line "this workbook has a link". The actual link reference is quite complicated looking, so please take your time to understand each component of the Excel Link.

There are three major parts that a link must have to be valid:

  1. Workbook: This is the filename of your Excel document.
  2. Worksheet: This is the worksheet name of your Excel sheet. The default name would be Sheet1.
  3. Cells: The cell(s) which are going to be linked to.

These three parts combine to make a pretty ugly looking blob of text. Using the general terms from above, this is how a generic link would look.

  • =[Workbook.xls]Worksheet!Cells

For our example, the Workbook is link2.xls, the Worksheet is Sheet1 and the cell is C1. Our link would then be:

  1. =[link2.xls]Sheet1!C1
  2. Enter this link into cell C1 of link1.xls and hit Return.

  3. Your link1.xls file should now properly link to your second file to display "this workbook has a link".

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