The aim of this tutorial is to illustrate a step-by-step solution to identifying and, if required, removing external links / phantom links in a received workbook.
What’s this tutorial all about?
Here’s the scenario – you receive an Excel file from a trusted source. No mention is made of external links to other files. Upon opening you are warned there are external links and are asked whether you wish to update them. Given the external links were not expected, they are for all intents and purposes ‘phantom’, serving no obvious purpose.
These phantom links have likely eventuated from moving or copying worksheets and/or charts into this workbook. The party releasing the workbook has either saved and released it (without reopening) or deemed the links harmless or indeed they are aware of them, but are unsure how to unbundle them and just thought ‘what the hell’. Being cautious, we take a less sanguine view.
Fear not for the most part phantom links are not as elusive as they can first appear. There is plenty of low hanging fruit that will most often remedy this nuisance without too much effort. Here we take you through a systematic approach to finding these phantom external links so you can determine their importance or otherwise.