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: Error in Linked PivotTable Value.

Error in Linked PivotTable Value

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 20, 2011)

Adam has two workbooks; call them A and B. In workbook A he has a link to a value in a PivotTable that is in workbook B. When he opens workbook A and workbook B is not open, Adam gets a #REF! error for the link. He wonders if there is any way to avoid getting the error when linking to a PivotTable value in a workbook that is not open.

There are a couple of ways you can approach this problem. Both methods involve understanding how Excel references the PivotTable value in workbook A. When you create a link to the value and both workbook A and workbook B are open, the reference will look something like this:

=GETPIVOTDATA("TotalValue",'C:\XLDocs\[MyData.xls]PTable'!$H$15,"EName","Rac")

One way to handle the problem is to envelope the reference within an IF statement, in this manner:

=IF(ISERROR(=GETPIVOTDATA("TotalValue",'C:\XLDocs\[MyData.xls]PTable'!
$H$15,"EName","Rac")),"Make sure Workbook B is Open", =GETPIVOTDATA(
"TotalValue",'C:\XLDocs\[MyData.xls]PTable'!$H$15,"EName","Rac"))

The formula checks the result of the GETPIVOTDATA function, and if it returns an error value (like when workbook B is not open), it displays a message. Only if there is no error value will the value in workbook B be fetched.

Another way is to modify the original reference so that the GETPIVOTDATA function is not being used. (It is this particular function that is generating the error when workbook B is not open.) Here's the way you should redo the reference so that the value is referenced directly instead of through a function:

='C:\MyWork\XLDocs\[MyData.xls]PTable'!$H$15

When the reference is rewritten in this manner, the error condition isn't returned.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10649) 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: Error in Linked PivotTable Value.

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

Wrong Suggested Date

When you start to type a date into a document, Word helpfully suggests a full date that you can accept. The result is easier ...

Discover More

Saving a Workbook with a Preview

When you save your workbooks, Excel can also save a preview image (thumbnail) that can be displayed in the Open dialog box. ...

Discover More

Jumping to the Ends of Table Columns

Need a quick shortcut to jump to the top or bottom of a table column? Here's the two shortcuts you are searching for.

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Maintaining Formatting when Refreshing PivotTables

When you refresh the data in a PivotTable, Excel can play havoc with whatever formatting you applied. Here's how to protect ...

Discover More

Rows in a PivotTable

PivotTables are used to analyze huge amounts of data. The number of rows used in a PivotTable depends on the type of analysis ...

Discover More

Refreshing PivotTable Data

If you modify the data on which a PivotTable is based, you'll need to refresh the table so it reflects the modified data. ...

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 6 + 0?

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.