How to Get External Links in Excel (Windows, Mac, & Web)

In this Excel Training video, we’ll show you how to locate external links, such as references to other workbooks, within Microsoft Excel. First, we demonstrate how to access the Edit Links tool on Windows, Mac, and Web. Then we explore the practical application of the Find tool, which can be used to find any link, including those containing the “.xlsx” extension. Lastly, the bonus tip will show you how to use Conditional Formatting to identify and manage external links within your Excel workbooks.


Example of a correctly formatted external link:

  • Ensure that the filename and extension are in square brackets [filename.xlsx]
  • Change Sheet1 to the name of the sheet you’re linking to.
  • !$A$1 refers to the cell you’re linking to. If you were linking to cell B2 you would use !$B$2

Formula to highlight external links in conditional formatting:


John Gleave

John Gleave has been a researcher, content writer, and senior editor at Business Tech Planet since 2022. John was formerly a data analyst and web designer with expertise in several programming languages, such as JavaScript, JQuery, PHP, CSS, SQL, and more! With a passion for writing and technology, he has now focused his skills on crafting tech guides for BTP. You can connect with John on LinkedIn.

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