As you work in Excel, you may find yourself linking data to other spreadsheets. This means that it’s critically important to keep your data updated. If you make a change to the underlying data, you need to ensure that it updates correctly in your other spreadsheets where you’ve linked to the data. Fortunately, this is easy to do in Excel. Let’s learn how to edit links in Microsoft Excel.
How to Edit Links in Excel
Imagine a simple dataset containing two columns. Column A lists User ID numbers. In column B, you want to list the last names of each individual assigned an ID number. This data is stored in a second, separate Excel spreadsheet. You’ve linked to it with a VLOOKUP formula as shown below.
Imagine, for example, that you change a last name in the linked file. You’ll need to be sure it updates in this spreadsheet as well. For this, you’ll use Excel’s Edit Links feature.
When you reference other files in Excel formulas, you’ve created what is called a link. Links connect Excel files together, and these links can update to keep data in sync.
To use the Edit Links menu, begin by going to the Data tab on Excel’s ribbon. On the left side, click on the Edit Links menu. You’ll see the Excel Links menu open up.
In the Source section, you’ll see the name of your linked file. To refresh the data through the Edit Links menu, click on the Update Values button at the bottom. Excel will begin refreshing the data to keep it in sync. Keep in mind, if you have a large volume of data, this process might take a few minutes.
Excel will alert you when the update is complete, and you’re free to click Close. Your data links will now be updated. As you can see, the Edit Links feature in Excel is the perfect way to keep files up to date.