How to Link 2 Excel Spreadsheets

By Lynn Burbeck

Linking data in different Excel spreadsheets often simplifies the reporting process because it eliminates the need to repeat complex Excel functions. When linked properly, entire reports can be automatically updated from data that has been extracted from a master report. Not only does this make the reporting process easier, it can also make it more accurate.

Step 1

Open the two Excel documents that you want to link.

Step 2

Select the cell in the destination document where you want the linked data to automatically appear. Enter an "=" sign in the cell. This will allow you to copy the exact value of the data in the primary document. If you want the cell to be a sum of multiple cells in the primary document, enter "=sum(" in the destination cell.

Step 3

Go to the primary Excel spreadsheet that has the data to be linked and click on the data cell that you want to link to the destination document. Once the cell has been selected, hit the Return key on your keyboard to complete the link. If the destination cell is a sum of multiple cells in the primary spreadsheet, select each cell to be linked, making sure to insert a comma between each linked cell. Once all of the cells have been selected, hit the Return key on your keyboard to complete the function.

Tips & Warnings

  • All simple functions that can be completed in one Excel spreadsheet can be completed by linking two spreadsheets. The only difference, is that instead of selecting the cell within the same document, you select a cell in the spreadsheet that you want to link.