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Primary Workbook & Secondary / linked workbook

  1. #1
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    Primary Workbook & Secondary / linked workbook

    Hey everyone - I don't really know how I would word this in a google search so I hope that you amazing wizards are able to help guide me in trying to better understand.

    I built a sales pipeline management workbook that's pretty intricate with auto populating formulas and a whole bunch of custom macros blah blah blah. I've deployed it out to a few people who wanted to use it for their businesses and at least every couple of days I find a bug, and fix it, and move on with my life. But if I send a friend the newest version with the fixed bug, they have to manually copy and paste a bunch of data and some of them aren't super excel savvy and will most likely screw something up.

    If I wanted to have a master copy where 1 worksheet out of the 5 that are in it is linked directly to their secondary copy, anytime I update code / formulas on the master, as long as they hit refresh it'll automatically update their code / formulas on their end.

    Is something like this possible?

    If not - is there a way to create an upload option in the workbook where they can upload the previous version into the new version and it auto updates specific criteria?

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Valued Forum Contributor loginjmor's Avatar
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    Cedar Rapids, Iowa
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    Excel 2013

    Re: Primary Workbook & Secondary / linked workbook

    Hi -

    This could be possible, depending on how you structure the two files. First, you have to restrict the amount of freedom the client has to make changes to their data file. For example, they can only enter data in certain rows or columns. That way your master file is looking at the same places. Second, unless their computer system is exactly mapped like yours, the updated master file may have difficulty finding the data file. The paths have to be exactly the same. I suppose you could use VBA to run a routine that allows the user to give your master file the correct path to the data file, but that is out of my league. But, if the systems are simple (i.e., C:\datafile.xls, then it could be done. If you have clients with a server, so the data file could be on Drive G, F, X, whatever, that's going to be a problem.

    Assuming you can get past those hurdles, you would probably need to use dynamic range names (ranges in the data file that expand automatically to the amount of data the user has input). That way, the formulas are just looking for a range name in the data file rather than a specific range (A1:G275) for example. Finally, it kind of depends on what your formulas and functions are doing with the data. Some functions play well with remote files, some can be a struggle.

    Hope that helps.
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