How to find and list all links (external references) in Excel?

In Excel, you refer to the contents of cells in another workbook by creating an external reference. But when you want to list all links of a workbook in Excel, it seems hard to find out and list all external references (links). The following tricky way will help you find out and list all links in workbook quickly.

Find and list all links with Find command

Find and list all links with VB macro

Find and list all links with Kutools for Excel

arrow blue right bubble Find and list all links with Find command

Because external links contains bracket [ sign, we can find out the external links if we can get all bracket signs in the whole workbook.

Step1: Click Home > Find & Select > Find to open the Find and Replace dialog box. You can also open the Find and Replace dialog box with pressing Ctrl + F keys.

Step2: In the Find What: box, enter the left part of bracket sign "[".


Step3: Click Options, in the Within drop down list, choose Workbook. And then click Find All button. Then it lists all external references in the Find and Replace dialog box immediately. See the following screenshot:


The left part of bracket sign can find out the external links in the whole workbook. If you want to find out all kinds of links, including the internal links and external links, you can enter the exclamation sign "!" in the Find what: box.

arrow blue right bubble Find and list all links with VB macro

The following VBA macro can help us list all linked source workbooks in a new worksheet of current workbook.

Step1: Hold down the ALT + F11 keys, and it opens the Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications window.

Step2: Click Insert > Module, and paste the following macro in the Module Window.

VBA: List all links in Excel.

Sub ListLinks()
Dim wb As Workbook
Set wb = Application.ActiveWorkbook
If Not IsEmpty(wb.LinkSources(xlExcelLinks)) Then
    xIndex = 1
    For Each link In wb.LinkSources(xlExcelLinks)
        Application.ActiveSheet.Cells(xIndex, 1).Value = link
        xIndex = xIndex + 1
    Next link
End If
End Sub

Step3: Press the F5 key to run this macro. Then it creates a new worksheet and list all linked source workbooks' names and saving paths in it at once. See screenshot:


arrow blue right bubble Find and list all links with Kutools for Excel

With Kutools for Excel’s Find and Break broken Links, you can find all the external links of the active worksheet, at the same time, you can break the specific links as you need.

Kutools for Excel: with more than 120 handy Excel add-ins, free to try with no limitation in 30 days. Get it Now.

If you have installed Kutools for Excel, please do as this:

Step1: Active the worksheet that you want to find the links, and click Kutools > Link > Find and Break broken Links, see screenshot:

doc list links 01

Step2: in the Find and Break broken Links dialog box, click Filter drop down list to choose All links, and all links in the active worksheet are listed, you can view the links status as well, OK stands for the link is valid, Error means the link is broken.

doc list links 02


1. If the View cell option is checked, when you click on the link in the list. It will find and navigate to the specific cell which contains the link in the worksheet.

2. And if you want to break a link, you can select the link from the list, then click Break link.

If you want to know more about this feature, please click Find and Break broken Links.

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