Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Replacing Links with Values.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 25, 2015)
John has a large number of workbooks that have links in them and they are getting very large. He wonders if there is any way for Excel to convert the links to the data grabbed from those links so he can archive the old workbooks.
One thing to try is to open the workbooks that contain the links and then use Excel's tools to break the links. Make sure you keep a backup of your workbook (in case you mess things up) and follow these steps:
Figure 1. The Edit Links dialog box.
The result is that all the links are done away with, but the values last retrieved through the links remain in the workbook.
Another approach is to use Paste Special to "overwrite" your links. (This works well if you have a limited number of links in a worksheet.) Follow these steps:
Figure 2. The Paste Special dialog box.
If you have quite a few links in your workbook, then you will want to use a macro to do the link breaking. The following is an example of a simple macro to do the breaking:
Sub BreakLinks() Dim aLinksArray As Variant aLinksArray = ActiveWorkbook.LinkSources(Type:=xlLinkTypeExcelLinks) Do Until IsEmpty(aLinksArray) ActiveWorkbook.BreakLink Name:=aLinksArray(1), _ Type:=xlLinkTypeExcelLinks aLinksArray = _ ActiveWorkbook.LinkSources(Type:=xlLinkTypeExcelLinks) Loop End Sub
It is important to remember, though, that links can be tricky. Links to other workbooks can be in formulas, names, charts, text boxes, and other objects, both visible and hidden, and in different combinations within formulas and those objects. Getting all the links and breaking them depends on the complexity of your workbook. If you have a complex workbook, then you may benefit by using the FindLink add-in created by Excel MVP Bill Manville. You can find it here:
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7537) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Replacing Links with Values.
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