Open or change source workbooks of external references (links)

An external reference (also called a link) is a reference to a cell or range on a worksheet in another Excel workbook, or a reference to a defined name in another workbook. You create external references between workbooks to bring information from a source workbook into a destination workbook.

From a destination workbook, you can easily open the source workbook of an external reference. For example, you might want to verify that it is the workbook that you want the external reference to point to, or make changes to the source workbook. You can also easily change the source workbook in an external reference. For example, the source workbook may have been moved and you need to update the external reference to reflect the change.

  1. Open the destination workbook.

  2. On the Data tab, in the Connections group, click Edit Links.

    Excel Ribbon Image

  3. In the Edit Links dialog box, click the source workbook that you want to open.

  4. Click Open Source.

  1. Open the destination workbook.

  2. On the Data tab, in the Connections group, click Edit Links.

  3. In the Edit Links dialog box, click the source workbook that you want to change.

  4. Click Change Source.

  5. In the Change Source dialog box, click the source workbook that you want to refer to. You may need to browse to find the workbook that you want.

  1. Find the workbook that you want to use as the new source for the external reference, and note its location.

  2. In the destination workbook, select the cell with the external reference that you want to change.

  3. In the formula bar Button image , look for a reference to another workbook, such as C:\Reports\[Budget.xlsx], and replace that reference with the location of the new source workbook.

Need more help?

You can always ask an expert in the Excel Tech Community, get support in the Answers community, or suggest a new feature or improvement on Excel User Voice.

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