Break links

ShowBreak a link to a source

Important When you break a link to a source, all formulas that that use the source are converted to their current value. For example, the link =SUM([Budget.xls]Annual!C10:C25) would be converted to =45. Because this action cannot be undone, you may want to save a version of the file before you start.

  1. On the Edit menu, click Links.
  2. In the Source list, click the link you want to break.

To select multiple linked objects, hold down CTRL and click each linked object.

To select all links, press CTRL+A.

  1. Click Break Link.
  2. If the link used a defined name (name: A word or string of characters that represents a cell, range of cells, formula, or constant value. Use easy-to-understand names, such as Products, to refer to hard to understand ranges, such as Sales!C20:C30.), the name is not automatically removed. You may want to delete the name as well.


  1. On the Insert menu, point to Name, and then click Define.
  2. In the Names in workbook list, click the name you want to change.
  3. Do one of the following:

Change the name

  1. Type the new name for the reference, and then click Add.
  2. Click the original name, and then click Delete.

Change the cell, formula, or constant represented by a name

Change it in the Refers to box.

Delete the name

Click Delete.

  1. If you use an external data range (external data range: A range of data that is brought into a worksheet but that originates outside of Excel, such as in a database or text file. In Excel, you can format the data or use it in calculations as you would any other data.), a parameter of a query may also use data from another workbook. You may want to check for and remove any of these type of links.

ShowControl the startup prompt for updating links

ShowDon't prompt for all workbooks I open, and update the links automatically

This option is for the current user only, and affects every workbook opened. Other users of the workbook are not affected.

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the Edit tab.
  2. Clear the Ask to update automatic links check box. If the box is cleared, the links are automatically updated, and no alert is displayed.

ShowPrompt in the same way for every user of the workbook

 Warning   This option affects all users of the workbook. If you choose to not update links, and not to prompt, users of the workbook will not know the data is out of date.

  1. On Edit menu, click Links.
  2. Click Startup Prompt.
  3. Select the option you want.

 Note    You will still be notified if there are any broken links.

ShowReplace a single formula with its calculated value

When you replace a formula with its value, Microsoft Excel permanently removes the formula. If you accidentally replace a formula with a value and want to restore the formula, click Undo Button image immediately after you enter or paste the value.

  1. Select the cell that contains the formula.

If the formula is an array formula (array formula: A formula that performs multiple calculations on one or more sets of values, and then returns either a single result or multiple results. Array formulas are enclosed between braces { } and are entered by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ENTER.), select the range that contains the array formula.


  1. Click Copy Button image.
  2. Click Paste Button image on the Standard toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.).
  3. Click the arrow next to Paste Options Button image, and then click Values.
Applies to:
Excel 2003