How to Identify External Links in Excel?

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Excel is a powerful tool that can be used for a variety of purposes. One of the most common uses for Excel is tracking and managing data. However, Excel can also be used to create links to external data sources.

These links can be very useful, but they can also be difficult to identify. This is because Excel does not always clearly indicate when a cell contains a link to an external source.

To avoid problems, it is important to know how to identify these links. However, once you know how to identify them, they can be very useful. So, let’s understand what external links really are and how can you identify them.

What are External Links and How are They Formed?           

External links are simply cell references to another worksheet or workbook. Put simply, they are a way to link data from one Excel file to another. This can be useful if you want to consolidate data from multiple files into one central location.

For example, let’s say you have a workbook with a list of all your clients and another workbook with a list of all your invoices. You could use an external link to pull the relevant data from each file into a third workbook, creating a comprehensive record of all your transactions.

How To Identify External Links in Excel?

There are a few different ways that you can identify external links in Excel.

Green Arrow Method

The easiest way is to look for the small green arrow that appears in the top-left corner of a cell. This arrow indicates that the cell contains a link to another file.

Go To Method

You can also use the Go To feature to find cells that contain links.

  • To do this, press Ctrl + G on your keyboard to open the Go To dialog box. Then, click the Special button.
  • This will open the Go To Special dialog box. In this dialog box, select the Objects option and then click OK.
  • This will select all the objects in the worksheet, which includes any cells that contain links.
  • You can then browse through the selected cells to find the ones that contain links.

Edit Link Method

Another method is to use the Edit Links feature.

To do this, click the Data tab and then click the Edit Links button. This will open the Edit Links dialog box. In this dialog box, you will see a list of all the external links in the workbook.

Search Option Method

If you want to find a specific link, you can use the search feature. To do this, click the Options button and then select the Search for Link checkbox. You can then enter the text that you want to search for.


So, there you have it – a comprehensive guide on how to identify external links in an Excel file. We hope this information was helpful and allowed you to get a better understanding of how your workbook’s backlinks are performing. If you have any questions or need assistance with link analysis, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help. Thanks for reading!

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