How to Link Cells in Excel (7 Ways)

In Microsoft Excel, linking cells is one of the crucial tasks. You will face many instances where you may have to connect cells. When cells are linked, you can notice the change in destination cells after a change in source. It helps us to perform different operations. In this tutorial, you will learn to link cells in Excel with suitable examples and proper illustrations. So, let’s get into it.


Download Practice Workbooks

Download these practice workbooks.


Why do We Need to Link Cells in Excel?

When you create a link between cells or external cell reference in a sheet, it helps us maintain the same data in different worksheets. It is a matter of data integrity. One simple modification in the source dataset creates a change in the destination file. When we have multiple datasets in our workbook but need a summary, we use this kind of cell reference in Excel.


Procedures to Link Cells in Excel

Before we start, let me clarify that there are three methods or procedures to link cells from the source worksheet to the destination worksheet. Here are these three:

  • By typing the Cell references
  • Using the Mouse directly
  • Using the Paste Link command from Paste Special

Most of the time, we are going to use option 3. But, you can choose an option. It will work as same.


7 Ways to Link Cells in Excel

In the following sections, we will provide you with seven ways to create a link between cells in Excel. We recommend you learn and apply all these methods to your worksheet. It will definitely develop your Excel knowledge.

1. Link Two Cells in Same Worksheet

Now, creating a link between two cells is pretty easy. You have to type the cell reference in the destination cell that refers to another cell.

Have a look at the following screenshot:

Here, we have a dataset of bills. We have a cell that indicates the total bills. On the right-hand side, we created another field to link the cell with the total bills.

Now, to create a link between these cells, simply type the cell reference of the total bills:

Link Two Cells in Same Worksheet

After pressing Enter button, you will see the following:

Link Two Cells in Same Worksheet

As you can see, both cells show the same values. To verify, let’s make any change in the source dataset:

Link Two Cells in Same Worksheet

Here, you can see we made a change in the Transportation bill. For this reason, Total Bills changed. Also, you can see that our linked cell was also modified. So, clearly, we made a link between these cells in the Excel worksheet.

Read more: How to Link Two Cells in Excel (6 Methods)


2. Link Cells Between Multiple Worksheets

Now, linking cells between two different worksheets is pretty simple. Here, you have to enter also the cell reference along with the worksheet name. Take a look at the following screenshot:

Here, we have two different worksheets. Our source worksheet is Sales and our destination sheet is Link Sales.

Now, from these two sheets, we will create a link between Cell C10 of Sales and Cell C4 of Link Sales sheet.

📌 Steps

  • First, copy the total sales from the Sales sheet.
  • Next, go to the Link Sales sheet.

Link Cells Between Multiple Worksheets in Excel

  • Now, right-click on Cell C4 and click on Paste Link like we showed (You can also find it to Paste Special option).

Link Cells Between Multiple Worksheets in Excel

As you can see, our destination cell is linked to the source sheet. Now, any modification in the source worksheet will reflect in the destination worksheet.

Read More: How to Link Cells in Same Excel Worksheet (4 Quick Ways)


3. Link Range of Cells in Excel

Now, you can link multiple ranges of cells to a different worksheet. Here, we are also going to use the Paste Special command of Excel to create a link between a range of cells.

Have a look at these screenshots:

Dataset from the sheet “RangeOfCells

And we want to link this with the sheet “LinkRangeOfCells

Linking Range of Cells in Excel

📌 Steps

  • At first, copy the range of cells from the sheet “RangeOfCells”.

  • Now, go to the sheet “LinkRangeOfCells”.

Linking Range of Cells in Excel

  • Now, right-click on Cell C5.

Linking Range of Cells in Excel

  • From the Paste Options, click on Paste Link. You can also find it in Paste Special command.

Linking Range of Cells in Excel

As you can see, our range of cells is linked with the source worksheet. Now, any change in the source sheet will reflect in the destination sheet.

Read More: How to Link Multiple Cells from Another Worksheet in Excel (5 Easy Ways)


4. Link Cells in a Function

We use cell references in the functions. Also, we use cell references to link cells. So, we can mix these two in the function to create a link between cells in different worksheets.

Take a look at the following screenshot:

Using in a Function to link cells

Here, we have two different sheets. Now, we will use the SUM function to add the total selling price in sheet “LinkFunction” from the sheet “Function”.

Here, we are going to use the Mouse to select the cell references.

📌 Steps

  • First, type the SUM function but do not give any cell reference yet.

  • Now, go to the sheet “Function”.

Using in a Function to link cells

  • From here, select the range of cells C5:C9 and press Enter.

Using in a Function to link cells

As you can see, we got the total selling price using the SUM function that linked to another worksheet.


5. Link Cells Using Hyperlink

If you are working with Microsoft Excel for a while, you already know the importance of the Hyperlink. By creating a Hyperlink in Excel, You can link cells, sheets, workbooks, links with this.

Take a look at the dataset:

Here, we will link one cell with another using the Hyperlink.

📌 Steps

  • First, create a list to insert hyperlinks. From this list, we will link Cell G5 with Cell D16 and Cell G6 with Cell E16.

  • After that, click on any cell of that list.

  • Now, press Ctrl+K to open the Insert Hyperlink dialog box.

Link Cells Using Hyperlink

Now, look carefully. First, click on the option Place in This Document option. Second, type the name of the cell in the Text to display. Third, select the sheet name of your workbook. Fourth, insert the cell reference where you want to go in the Type the cell reference box. Finally, click on OK.

  • It will create a hyperlink in our list.

Link Cells Using Hyperlink

  • In the same process, create another hyperlink to jump into cell E16 (Total Profit).

Link Cells Using Hyperlink

  • Now, when you click any of those links, it will take you to the desired cell.

Link Cells Using Hyperlink

As you can see, this method successfully created a link between those cells in Excel.


6. Link Between Two Workbooks

You can also link cells of two separate workbooks. Here we have two workbooks. Have a look at these:

And this is another workbook:

Link Between Two Workbooks

📌 Steps

  • First, open both Excel workbooks.
  • Next, go to the Source Workbook.

  • Now, copy the total sales from this workbook.
  • Then, go to the “Another Workbook.xlsx”.

Link Between Two Workbooks

  • Next, right-click on Cell C4 and click on Paste Link.

Link Between Two Workbooks

Finally, our destination cell is linked to the source workbook. Now, any modification in the source workbook will reflect in the destination workbook.

Read More: How to Link Multiple Cells in Excel (4 Methods)


7. External Reference to Another Workbook

When you close the original Excel file after establishing a link, you will see the this kind of reference:

=’D:\SOFTEKO\70- how to link cells in excel\[Another Workbook.xlsx]External Reference’!$C$10

Basically, it shows the file location on your device. Now, if you change the folder location, it will show an error. Also, if you rename the file, the link will stop working.

If you want to link the external Excel file again, you have to open the file and create a link again. Or you can modify the folder location or the file name.

Read More: How to Keep Formatting in Excel When Referencing Cells (2 Methods)


How to Break External Links in Excel

So, you want to break links between two different excel files and want to keep the values only. Follow these steps to break external links :

📌 Steps

  • First, go to the sheet where you created a link.

  • Then, click on the cell.
  • After that, go to the Data tab.

How to Break External Links in Excel

  • From the Queries & Connections group, click on Edit Links.

How to Break External Links in Excel

  • Now, from the Edit Links dialog box, click on Break Link. Another dialog box will pop up, click on Break Links.

How to Break External Links in Excel

As you can see, our cell doesn’t contain any links in it. It is only showing the value instead.


💬 Things to Remember

Your external links won’t work if you change the location or the name of the file.

Also, you can manually type the cell references to link cells.

Break Link method won’t work for the links present in the same worksheet.

You can also copy one worksheet to another workbook without reference.


Conclusion

To conclude, I hope this tutorial has provided you with a piece of useful knowledge to link cells in Excel. We recommend you learn and apply all these instructions to your dataset. Download the practice workbook and try these yourself. Also, feel free to give feedback in the comment section. Your valuable feedback keeps us motivated to create tutorials like this.

Don’t forget to check our website Exceldemy.com for various Excel-related problems and solutions.

Keep learning new methods and keep growing!


Further Readings

Shanto

Shanto

Hello! I am Shanto. An Excel & VBA Content Developer. My goal is to provide our readers with great tutorials on various Excel-related problems. I hope our easy but effective tutorials will enrich your knowledge. I have completed my BSc in Computer Science & Engineering from Daffodil International University. Working with data was always my passion. Love to work with data, analyze those, and find patterns. Also, love to research. Always look for challenges to keep me growing.

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