Finding and Deleting Links

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 3, 2015)

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.

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

Clearing the Undo Stack in a Macro

When writing a macro, you may need a way to clear the undo stack. This can be done with a single command, as described in ...

Discover More

Intelligible Names for Macros

The names you use for macros can affect what you see when you add those macros to a toolbar. This tip explains how you can ...

Discover More

Adding Page Numbers in Headers or Footers

While Word has a default format for page numbers, you can design and specify how you want them to appear in your document. ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Self-Aware Macros

Sometimes it may be helpful for a macro to know exactly where it is being executed. This tip provides a way that you can ...

Discover More

Replacing and Converting in a Macro

When you use a macro to process data you always run the risk of making that data unusable by Excel. This is especially true ...

Discover More

Selecting the First Cell In a Row

When creating macros, you'll often have a need to select different cells in the worksheet. Here's how to select the first ...

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. 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 eight minus 8?

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 menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.