Excel 2013 Essential Training
Illustration by Richard Downs

Locating and maintaining links


Excel 2013 Essential Training

with Dennis Taylor

Watch every course in the library with a lynda.com membership.
Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Video: Locating and maintaining links

If you work with files that have formulas that get data from other workbooks, those are called links. And you need to know where those links are and how to find them. We need to have two files open in this movie, 09-05-EmployeeTable as well as, I'm pressing Ctrl+Tab, 09-05-RegionalSales. Right now, there are no linkage formulas. How do we know that? First of all, in Regional Sales, if we go to the DATA tab, the term Edit Links is grayed out and we cannot select it.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 6s
    1. Welcome
    2. Using the exercise files
  2. 29m 37s
    1. What is Excel used for?
      1m 49s
    2. Using the menu system
      4m 30s
    3. The Quick Access Toolbar
      4m 41s
    4. The structure of a worksheet or workbook
      3m 41s
    5. Using the Formula bar
      1m 43s
    6. Using the Status bar
      2m 24s
    7. Navigation and mouse pointers
      2m 20s
    8. Shortcut menus and the Mini toolbar
      3m 24s
    9. Using the built-in help
      2m 54s
    10. Creating new files
      2m 11s
  3. 24m 1s
    1. Exploring data entry and editing techniques
      4m 41s
    2. Entering data with AutoFill
      4m 6s
    3. Working with dates and times
      3m 32s
    4. Using Undo and Redo
      4m 50s
    5. Adding comments
      2m 55s
    6. Using Save or Save As
      3m 57s
  4. 30m 7s
    1. Creating simple formulas: Totals and averages
      5m 25s
    2. Copying a formula for adjacent cells
      2m 54s
    3. Calculating year-to-date profits
      3m 9s
    4. Creating a percentage-increase formula
      4m 7s
    5. Working with relative, absolute, and mixed references
      4m 7s
    6. Using SUM and AVERAGE
      3m 25s
    7. Using other common functions
      7m 0s
  5. 46m 7s
    1. Exploring font styles and effects
      4m 7s
    2. Adjusting row heights and column widths
      3m 37s
    3. Working with alignment and Wrap Text
      4m 2s
    4. Designing borders
      3m 26s
    5. Exploring numeric and special formatting
      5m 36s
    6. Formatting numbers and dates
      4m 31s
    7. Conditional formatting
      4m 21s
    8. Creating and using tables
      9m 59s
    9. Inserting shapes, arrows, and other visual features
      6m 28s
  6. 20m 40s
    1. Inserting and deleting rows and columns
      4m 52s
    2. Hiding and unhiding rows and columns
      4m 2s
    3. Moving, copying, and inserting data
      5m 42s
    4. Finding and replacing data
      6m 4s
  7. 17m 51s
    1. Exploring the Page Layout tab and view
      7m 20s
    2. Previewing page breaks
      4m 56s
    3. Working with Page Setup and printing controls
      5m 35s
  8. 30m 30s
    1. Creating charts
      4m 36s
    2. Exploring chart types
      7m 47s
    3. Formatting charts
      5m 42s
    4. Working with axes, labels, gridlines, and other chart elements
      5m 35s
    5. Creating in-cell charts with sparklines
      6m 50s
  9. 12m 49s
    1. Freezing and unfreezing panes
      2m 39s
    2. Splitting screens horizontally and vertically
      4m 48s
    3. Showing necessary information with the Outlining feature
      5m 22s
  10. 23m 0s
    1. Displaying multiple worksheets and workbooks
      4m 17s
    2. Renaming, inserting, and deleting sheets
      2m 23s
    3. Moving, copying, and grouping sheets
      3m 39s
    4. Using formulas to link worksheets and workbooks
      6m 1s
    5. Locating and maintaining links
      6m 40s
  11. 20m 25s
    1. Using IF functions and relational operators
      3m 43s
    2. Getting approximate table data with the VLOOKUP function
      7m 6s
    3. Getting exact table data with the VLOOKUP function
      4m 42s
    4. Using the COUNTIF family of functions
      4m 54s
  12. 23m 50s
    1. Unlocking cells and protecting worksheets
      7m 50s
    2. Protecting workbooks
      2m 40s
    3. Assigning passwords to workbooks
      4m 41s
    4. Sharing workbooks
      4m 7s
    5. Tracking changes
      4m 32s
  13. 28m 32s
    1. Sorting data
      6m 9s
    2. Inserting subtotals in a sorted list
      8m 25s
    3. Using filters
      6m 16s
    4. Splitting data into multiple columns
      5m 4s
    5. Removing duplicate records
      2m 38s
  14. 35m 2s
    1. Creating PivotTables
      8m 36s
    2. Manipulating PivotTable data
      9m 47s
    3. Grouping by date and time
      6m 0s
    4. Grouping by other factors
      2m 33s
    5. Using slicers to clarify and manipulate fields
      4m 7s
    6. Using PivotCharts
      3m 59s
  15. 23m 29s
    1. Using Goal Seek
      6m 8s
    2. Using Solver
      6m 34s
    3. Using Scenario Manager
      6m 11s
    4. Using Data Tables
      4m 36s
  16. 24m 31s
    1. Definition and examples
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a simple macro
      7m 0s
    3. Running a macro
      10m 43s
  17. 29s
    1. Next steps

please wait ...
Watch Excel 2013 Tutorials on Essential Training
6h 32m Appropriate for all Jan 29, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Whether you're a novice or an expert wanting to refresh your skillset with Microsoft Excel, this course covers all the basics you need to start entering your data and building organized workbooks. Author Dennis Taylor teaches you how to enter and organize data, perform calculations with simple functions, work with multiple worksheets, format the appearance of your data, and build charts and PivotTables. Other lessons cover the powerful IF, VLOOKUP, and COUNTIF family of functions; the Goal Seek, Solver, and other data analysis tools; and how to automate many of these tasks with macros.

Topics include:
  • What is Excel and what is it used for?
  • Using the menus
  • Working with dates and times
  • Creating simple formulas
  • Formatting fonts, row and column sizes, borders, and more
  • Inserting shapes, arrows, and other graphics
  • Adding and deleting rows and columns
  • Hiding data
  • Moving, copying, and pasting
  • Sorting and filtering data
  • Printing your worksheet
  • Securing your workbooks
  • Tracking changes
Business Education + Elearning
Excel Office Office 365
Dennis Taylor

Locating and maintaining links

If you work with files that have formulas that get data from other workbooks, those are called links. And you need to know where those links are and how to find them. We need to have two files open in this movie, 09-05-EmployeeTable as well as, I'm pressing Ctrl+Tab, 09-05-RegionalSales. Right now, there are no linkage formulas. How do we know that? First of all, in Regional Sales, if we go to the DATA tab, the term Edit Links is grayed out and we cannot select it.

Therefore, there are no formulas in this workbook that get data from other workbooks. Let's press Ctrl+Tab and go to the other workbook. Are there any formulas here or on the DATA tab? Edit Links here is grayed out as well. So let's create a linkage formula between the two. In cell J8 here, we want the Couches' total. Equal or press Ctrl+Tab, go to the other workbook and we're going to get from each of the four sheets here, the Grand Total for Couches. It's in cell B8 so we'll simply click there, click Plus then do the same thing with Midwest, click that cell and a Plus and South, same cell and Pacific, same cell and Enter.

We've got our total here. Now, DATA Tab>Edit Links and as we click this option here, recognize Edit Links tells us that this workbook, the one we're currently using, is getting data from 09-05-RegionalSales below this we see the option Startup Prompt. In the future, when we open this file, let's imagine we're about to close it, when we open this file in the future, it would be worth considering a Startup Prompt. The Startup Prompt box gives us three options.

The last option says, 'Don't display the alert and update the links.' I think most people would not want this. This simply means if we open this file again, nothing special is going to pop-up on the screen. We won't even know necessarily that there are links and they will be updated. And the one above it is hardly much better. It doesn't display the alert and it does not update the links. The first choice is the best one and it's worded a bit strangely. It says, 'Let users choose to display the alert or not.' That doesn't mean that every time we open this file in the future, that there's going to be a prompt asking us if we want to see the prompt anymore.

It's simply going to ask us if we want to update. I think this will be the preferred choice for most people. Let's click OK and close this. Let's imagine what happens in the future if we were to open this file and remember the total here is 11,660. So we're going to close this file and save it. Click the Save button in the Quick Access Toolbar is certainly one way and we can close this with Ctrl+W. Let's imagine we're working with the other file now and I'm going to make a change here to Couches. I'm going to make that to be 2000.

If the other file were open, that total of 11,660 will have gone up substantially, but it's not open right now. So we're going to save 09-05-RegionalSales. I'll click the Save button up there and then press Ctrl+W to close it. Now I want to open the other file and I can go to the File tab in the Ribbon and down below under Recently Open Files, there's that Employee Table so I'll open this again. For the first time, we are seeing this prompt and remember that 11,660 has not yet changed.

Our prompt says, 'This workbook contains links to one or more external sources that could be unsafe.' Do we want to update? Yes, we do. Watch the 11,660 change. It's changed to 12,510 even though the other file isn't open. The formula is still in place and of course on the Data tab, Edit Links is there reminding us the source of that formula. Now, what happens if you're a different user or it's you a few months later, you open this file perhaps you saw the prompt and you said update, but you forget where the formula is.

Maybe you're looking at this sheet or that sheet or maybe you've got more sheets in the meantime and you want to know where linkage formulas are in this workbook. Let's go back to where this particular formula is. I'm going to Double-Click here. What is it that's different about these kinds of formulas? Well, there are two things are different. It's probably unlikely that you're ever using a left bracket or a right bracket in other parts of a workbook. Now you certainly can and that option is open and if you work with tables you might even have formulas with brackets in them, not parentheses necessarily, but brackets.

What else is unique here? We are seeing file names with .xlsx. Now possibly it could be another Excel file, but let's say that .xls is probably unique or .xl. So it's highly unlikely that you would see that combination of characters anywhere else. Let's imagine that you have opened this file, you either forgot this or maybe you're a completely different user and you've seen by way of the Data tab, that there are links to other workbooks, you've seen that but you don't know where the links are.

So what might you do? You might be on any worksheet here, Right-Click and select all the sheets and then go to the Home tab, and the extreme right button, Find and Select, Find and let's look for all occurrences of .xl. Find all of them. In this example, there's only one so we see that there and we see the address. In different situations, you might see a pretty large list here. All cells that have the .xl combination are appearing here in this list.

So that helps us track these down. Now, links are one way. In this workbook, we've got a linkage formula, one or more, getting data from another workbook. Suppose we open the other workbook. I'll go back to file and open Regional Sales. Does this workbook have any formulas that get data from other workbooks? Data tab, Edit Links is gray, we cannot select it. There's no indication in this workbook that there are formulas elsewhere using this data so the linkage concept is based on the idea that in those workbooks where there are linkage formulas we can find them, but there's no way, when looking at a source workbook, that we can track the link in the opposite direction.

It gets a little tricky at times when you're trying to explain this to others but in our example here, we've got two workbooks, the other workbook as I press Ctrl+Tab and go back to it, has one or more, in this case only one, linkage formulas that are getting data from another workbook. In any workbook that gets data from other workbooks by way of formulas, we can those track formulas on the Data tab, the Edit Links command.

There are currently no FAQs about Excel 2013 Essential Training.

Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Excel 2013 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.

Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.