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How to copy linked Excel and Word files and retain links

  1. #1
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    How to copy linked Excel and Word files and retain links

    I have links between Excel files and Word files. I use these files for
    multiple projects. When I copy them and paste them to a new folder the new
    files would be linked together. For some reason this has stopped. Now when I
    copy, the Word file has links to the original document, not to the copied
    document.

    Please help?

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    Forum Expert newdoverman's Avatar
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    Re: How to copy linked Excel and Word files and retain links

    The easiest way to have the links maintained is to have all the linked files in the same folder right from the start. That way when you move/copy the files to another folder, the relative links are maintained.

    If the files are not in the same folder, they should at least be in the same part of the file "tree" so that the complete file paths can be moved/copied to another location.
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    Re: How to copy linked Excel and Word files and retain links

    Thanks for the reply!

    The issue I am having is that I have several clients, in an excel document I have all of the forumlas and tables for pricing, in word I have a contract that only has 2 tables linked from excel that we provide to the client (we don't want them to see the commission percentages.) So the linking works perfectly when I am just using this example document. When I go to copy the documents for another client (both excel and word in the same folder), I rename them and want to use them for a new client. New clients have different information and pricing. So when I use the new renamed documents, the linking still works but it still links to the 2 previous documents that I copied, therefore also changing the information in the original 2 documents.

    The only way that I can think to resolve this issue is to re link the documents as I am going but this is time consuming since I am copying 2 tables, re-sizing and formating the tables for each client. I am trying to find a way to make this quicker for both me and my workers.

    Any suggestions?

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    Forum Expert newdoverman's Avatar
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    Re: How to copy linked Excel and Word files and retain links

    Any time that you change the file names, the links are effectively broken.

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    Re: How to copy linked Excel and Word files and retain links

    Thank you, that seems to be what I am finding, just wasn't sure if there was a way around it!

  6. #6
    Forum Guru macropod's Avatar
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    Re: How to copy linked Excel and Word files and retain links

    Whenever you create a link from a Word document to another file, the link will always point to that file, even if you copy the Word document to another folder. Moving the source file makes no difference - the Word document will still look in the original folder.

    To see how to implement relative paths in Word for links to Excel files, check out the macro solution I've posted at:
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...External-Files
    Cheers,
    Paul Edstein
    [Fmr MS MVP - Word]

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    Forum Expert newdoverman's Avatar
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    Re: How to copy linked Excel and Word files and retain links

    It depends on what file is moved and under what conditions. I created a file in Excel, I opened another Excel file as a source of data. I copied the data source and Paste linked into the first Excel file. I closed both files after saving. I then moved the Excel source file to another location and then opened the file with the link....broken link. The only way to repair the link was to manually enter the path to the new location. If the file containing the link is moved, the path to the source is not effected...at least in my experimentation.

    I have done a lot of sharing of linked files, where I worked and for a commercial enterprise and the only way that I could be SURE that the links continued to work was to have both the Source and Target files in the same folder otherwise, it was taking a chance that the links would remain in tact.
    Last edited by newdoverman; 05-30-2013 at 08:21 PM.

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    Forum Guru macropod's Avatar
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    Re: How to copy linked Excel and Word files and retain links

    Quote Originally Posted by newdoverman View Post
    It depends on what file is moved and under what conditions.
    It makes no difference with a link from Word to Excel - the results are as I posted, even if the files are kept in a common folder. With Excel-to-Excel links, though, provided the source and target files are moved to new folders with the same names and relationships (i.e. relative paths) to each other, the links will continue to work - even if they're not being kept in a common folder.

    Quite obviously, though, if you move just the source file as you did, even an Excel link will break. I'd find it surprising if anyone would expect otherwise.

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