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Removing External Links

October 17, 2001 - by Bill Jelen

Yesterday I mentioned that Chris from New Zealand had a problem using the free Delete External Links utility from Microsoft. I pointed him to a download from a German Excel site. Chris wrote back today with a report on the add-in. Here is his report:

I have tried the German version. It is only 20KB versus the 168KB of the Microsoft version. It is a very simple add-in and doesn't have the bells and whistles of the other one. However it clears the error message I found with the MS one. It also clears links very simply as well.

How it works:

A dialogue box appears asking what types of files you want to search for links ( such as .xls). You need to be actually in the file to be searched. I tried all sorts of ways of searching for links such as D:\*.xls, and C:\*.xls when it didn't appear to clear all links. This showed me all links in a 50 sheet workbook, gave me the option of deleting each one and showed the complete path of each external link one at at time. It showed me links that I didn't even know existed. It worked efficiently, and on saving the workbook and opening again, all external links are now GONE!!.

There is one flaw in the German add-in. It could not find a series in a chart that referred to an external server ( O:) drive. However, even the MS addin had trouble with this one until I chose the Aggressive mode for charts and then it solved the problem.

Thanks to Chris for reviewing this add-in. If you are having problems getting rid of external links, check out this cool add-in from German Excel guru Hans W. Herber.