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Excel External Links

Externally linked formulas in Excel are both powerful and dangerous. And almost universal.

Benefits of external links

  • Using externally linked cells is a fast way to share information between workbooks.
  • External links make logical sense to most Excel users
  • Occasional use of a small number of linked cells is fairly easy to manage.


Disadvantages of external links

  • External links can cause hard to discover circular references (where a cells actually depends on itself, eventually when all the formulas are traced through)
  • External links can update in an inconsistent fashion (in all versions of Excel)
  • If the source workbook is modified the links may become invalid or incorrect

Codematic Link Manager

Rich control and management of external links has been an important feature of so many of our consulting assignments we developed a utility to help. That utility has now been refined into a commercial grade Excel add-in, more information is here.


If you require any more information please get in touch.



Upcoming Events:

25 January 2012 - UK Excel Developer Conference - London

Products for sale:


Office 2007 FileSearch replacement logo

New information about the missing FileSearch feature in Office 2007 and details of our pragmatic solution (Current price GBP 30.00)


worksheet password remover logo

Instant Excel worksheet protection remover and password recovery (Current price GBP 15.00)

Classic Ribbon Tab

classic ribbon for office 2007 logo

Add Excel 97/2000/2002/2003 compatible menu structure to Excel 2007
(Current Price GBP 10.00)


Products coming soon:

Link Manager

(Find and control external links in Excel Workbooks)

Due by Q1 2111.

XLAnalyst Pro

(Excel VBA based spreadsheet auditing tool)

Due before the end of 2111.

This page was last reviewed on December 21, 2011

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