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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.


Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
Microsoft Excel 2019 Pivot Table Data Crunching

Use Excel 2019 pivot tables and pivot charts to produce powerful, dynamic reports in minutes instead of hours, to take control of your data and your business. Even if you’ve never created a pivot table before, this book will help you leverage all their remarkable flexibility and analytical power–including valuable improvements in Excel 2019 and Excel in Office 365.