In the business environment spreadsheet linking is a useful function that adds a lot of value to developments but also a lot of risk. The concept of spreadsheet linking can be defined as the linking of data between two or more spreadsheets in the same workbook or between workbooks. The spreadsheet linking function is useful when you have to calculate values from spreadsheets with lots of information.
Spreadsheet linking assists an Excel user to keep his Excel spreadsheets at a manageable size. Formulas within smaller spreadsheets will recalculate faster as large spreadsheets are generally unwieldy. Different view of your spreadsheet can be set up as you can select what data you would like to use for spreadsheet linking.
How to do spreadsheet linking within a workbook
As said above it is possible to do spreadsheet linking between two spreadsheets within a workbook, but it is necessary however that the data you require to link is on separate sheets within your workbook. Once you have two or more sheets with data that you would like to link using the spreadsheet linking formula, you can create a third sheet within the workbook that will efficiently reflect the data, for example the total of the first quarter profit from 2005 and 2006.
Once you are ready to put in the link you will be required to:
- Type ‘=’
- Type in the reference to the cell on the first worksheet )remember that between the sheet and the cell reference there is a “!”, without the quotation marks ie. Sheet12!A1) Also remember that sheets that have a name that does not compromise solely of alphabetic characters must be enclosed in single quotes.
- Type in the relevant operator, in our case it would be ‘+’
- Type in the reference to the cell on the second worksheet
- Press Enter
You have just completed your first spreadsheet linking exercise.
Useful tips regarding spreadsheet linking
If you create a link the ‘source’ file – the file that contains the data required for a different worksheet, contains the original data. The ‘destination’ file – the file in which the links are placed reflects only a copy of the data as it retains only the ‘address’ of the source file. Therefore the source file should be accessible at all times.
Excel has introduced a tool that allows you to edit and update the links in your workbook, Go to Edit, Links and here you will find a variety of options that can be used to manage your spreadsheet linking. Update Values, Change Source, Open Source, Break link and Check Status.
To remove the “Automatic update” pop up that shows every time you open a file that contains spreadsheet linking select Tools from the Excel toolbar, Options. Then Select the Edit tab; uncheck the “Ask to update automatic links”. Click OK, now when you start up a file the links will update automatically without requiring confirmation from you first.
Spreadsheet linking training
T o receive training in how to use spreadsheet linking, how to create links between spreadsheets in different workbooks and how it can assist you in your everyday business life, contact Miricle Solutions. This company is experienced in both Excel and accounting and therefore provide useful tips and tricks to using Excel for your benefit, including spreadsheet linking.