Linking Can Be a Drag

BY J. CARLTON COLLINS

Q: My job requires me to write a lot of link formulas in Excel, but I find the process confusing due to the numerous links and workbooks I deal with. Do you have suggestions for creating links in an organized approach?

 

A: Excel allows you to create links automatically by dragging and dropping data between workbooks, and I sometimes find this approach helpful, especially when the workbooks are displayed side by side. To use this approach, open both the source and destination workbooks and display them side by side by selecting Arrange All from the View tab. In the Arrange Windows dialog box, select the radio button labeled Vertical, and click OK. Next, highlight the cell (or cells) you want to link in the data source workbook, then right-click on the edge of the selected cell (or cells) and drag that cell (or cells) to the destination workbook. As you drop the cell (or cells) onto the destination workbook, a menu will pop up, offering several options. Select the Link Here option, as shown below.

 

Excel will automatically paste the values from the source workbook to the destination workbook and create the appropriate links. This approach to creating links by dragging and dropping cells is faster and more accurate than typing them using the keyboard. Additionally, I believe the visual nature of the drag-and-drop approach makes this process easier.

 

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