How to Find Links in Microsoft Excel


It can be difficult to find links manually in Excel if you're working with a large workbook. Microsoft Excel allows you to link to data within or outside the workbook. Links to other cells, worksheets and workbooks are displayed in the formula bar of the linked cell. According to Microsoft Online, since "Links are also commonly used in names, text boxes or chart titles," you should check for links there. You can also hyperlink to a different website or file that's not in Microsoft Excel.

Links in Hyperlink

  • Open the Excel workbook containing the links you want to find.

  • Place your cursor in an empty cell and create a dummy hyperlink (so you can use its format to find other hyperlinks). To create the hyperlink, select the "Insert" tab and click "Hyperlink" in the "Links" group. Select "Existing File or Web Page" under "Link to" in the "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box. Type a website address (ex., "") into the "Address" text field and click "OK."

  • Select the "Home" tab and go to the "Editing" group. Click "Find & Select" and "Find." The "Find and Replace" dialog box appears. Click the "Options" button to expand the dialog box.

  • Leave the "Find what" text field blank. Click the arrow beside the "Format" button and select "Choose Format From Cell." The dialog box minimizes and you are directed to your spreadsheet.

  • Click on the cell containing the dummy hyperlink you created in Step 2. The "Find and Replace" dialog box reopens.

  • Select "Workbook" from "Within." Select "Values" under "Look in." Choose "Find All." All matching entries are displayed at the bottom of the dialog box.

  • Delete the dummy hyperlink from your spreadsheet.

Links in Cells

  • Repeat Step 3 of the previous section.

  • Type an open bracket "[" in the "Find what" text field, representing the format of links in the formula bar.

  • Click "Workbook" from "Within" and "Formulas" from "Look In." Press the "Find All" button to display the matching links.

Links in Objects, Chart Titles or Data Series

  • Go to the text box, chart title, object or data series containing the link you want to find. To find it quickly, select the "Home" tab and go to the "Editing" group. Click "Find" and "Go To Special."

  • Check "Objects" in the "Go To Special" dialog box and press "OK."

  • Press the "Tab" key and check the formula bar for references to links.

Links in Names

  • Click the "Formulas" tab in the ribbon and go to the "Defined Names" group.

  • Click the "Name Manager" button to display the "Name Manager" dialog box.

  • Check the "Refers To" tab for the link you want to find. Its cell address is displayed in the dialog box.

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