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 April 21, 2018)

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

Turning Off Background Repagination

When you use Word, it normally performs several tasks in the background, while you are typing. One of those tasks is to ...

Discover More

Turning Off Names

You can use some of the tools in Excel to convert cell references in formulas into names. Converting back (from names ...

Discover More

Allowing Passive Voice in Writing

When you have Word do grammar-checking on your document, it typically marks everything it considers wrong with the way ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Text Truncated in PivotTable

When you create a PivotTable based on data that contains lots of text, you may be surprised to find that your text is ...

Discover More

Bogging Down with Calculated Items

Create a complex PivotTable and you may find that your system slows to a crawl. The reason for this may be due to the way ...

Discover More

Removing Subtotals from Many PivotTable Fields

Need to get rid of pesky subtotals from your PivotTables? It's easy to do by applying the macro highlighted in this tip.

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 four less than 5?

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.