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Finding and Deleting Links

If you are responsible for very large Excel workbooks, it can sometimes be a hassle to work with them. This is particularly true if the workbook has many different external links set up, and you need to break those links. The typical approach is to display each worksheet and use the Find command to search for characters common to links, such as exclamation points. When found, you can delete the individual links. If you have many, many worksheets, this approach can be very tedious, but it does work. (Exactly how this is done has been described in past issues of ExcelTips.)

Another option is to write a VBA macro that will locate all the links in a workbook. This, again, is doable, but it can be tedious to load the macro into each workbook and then run it. It is also easy to make mistakes with a macro and thereby delete links you don't really want deleted.

Perhaps the best solution is one provided by Microsoft. They developed an add-in that is described in Knowledge Base article Q188449. You can find it at the following URL:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/188449

This article describes an Excel Wizard that you can download and use to locate and delete links. According to the Knowledge Base article, the Wizard will only work with Excel 97. This is a bit misleading, as it appears the Wizard will also work with Excel 2000.

If you run the Wizard and it doesn't delete all the links you wanted deleted, it could be that the workbook contains some corrupted links. In this instance, you need to break the links manually.

Another easy solution to finding links quickly (and thoroughly) is to use the FindLink program written by Excel MVP Bill Manville. You can find the program (and download it free) at the following site:

http://www.manville.org.uk/software/findlink.htm

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1958) applies to Microsoft Excel 97 and 2000.

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