A quick tip for breaking links in Excel

By J. Carlton Collins, CPA

(Editor's note: This tip comes from JofA reader Rick Stone, CPA, controller at The Walt Disney Family Museum in San Francisco. Thank you, Rick, for bringing this tip to our attention.)

Let's say you have a workbook that contains numerous data links and formulas, but when you send this workbook to others, they get error messages because your links don't follow the same link path on their computers. However, copying and pasting the data to a new workbook as values doesn't work either because this process removes all formulas, which makes the worksheet less usable. Is there a decent way to solve this problem?

A practical approach that may work for you is to save a copy of your workbook and then highlight your entire worksheet and from the Data tab select Edit Links, Break Link. This action will remove all links from your workbook but leave your formulas intact so your recipients can still edit the data to produce "what-if" scenarios for deeper analysis.

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About the author

J. Carlton Collins, CPA, (carlton@asaresearch.com) is a technology consultant, a conference presenter, and a JofA contributing editor.

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