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.
Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 21, 2018)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003
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:
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:
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.
Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!
When you update a PivotTable, Excel can take liberties with any formatting you previously applied to the PivotTable. ...Discover More
If you are using a data set that includes a number of zero values, you may not want those values to appear in a ...Discover More
PivotTables are used to boil down huge data sets into something you can more easily understand. They are very good simple ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.