Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Changing Document Links.

Changing Document Links

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 8, 2018)

5

You already know that Word allows you to establish links between your document and other objects, such as graphics, spreadsheets, and other items. There may come a time when you wish to change the links. For instance, you may have an Excel workbook you start over every year. However, the data within the workbook is in the same relative location as the previous year. To update your document for the new year, you can easily change the links established between your document and the worksheet. How you accomplish this depends on the version of Word you are using.

If you are using Word 2007, you do this in the following manner:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box.
  2. Click Prepare at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Click Edit Links to Files. (If this option is not available, it means that Word doesn't think there are any links in the current document. Save the document and the Edit Links will then be available.) Word displays the Links dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Links dialog box.

  5. Select the link you want to change.
  6. Click on Change Source. Word displays the Change Source dialog box. This dialog box is very similar to a standard Open dialog box in Word.
  7. Use the controls in the dialog box to select the new source for the link.
  8. Click on Open. The Change Source dialog box disappears, and the Links dialog box reappears.
  9. Make any additional link changes necessary by repeating steps 4 through 7.
  10. Click on OK.

If you are using Word 2010 or a later version, follow these steps, instead:

  1. Display the Info option of the File tab of the ribbon. (See Figure 2.)
  2. Figure 2. The Info option of the File tab of the ribbon.

  3. Near the bottom of the right side of the Info screen click Edit Links to Files. (If this option is not available, it means that Word doesn't think there are any links in the current document. Save the document and the Edit Links to Files option will then be available.) Word displays the Links dialog box. (See Figure 3.)
  4. Figure 3. The Links dialog box.

  5. Select the link you want to change.
  6. Click on Change Source. Word displays the Change Source dialog box. This dialog box is very similar to a standard Open dialog box in Word.
  7. Use the controls in the dialog box to select the new source for the link.
  8. Click on Open. The Change Source dialog box disappears, and the Links dialog box reappears.
  9. Make any additional link changes necessary by repeating steps 4 through 7.
  10. Click on OK.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (6007) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Changing Document Links.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 9 - 0?

2020-10-21 23:56:05

Dr Eliahu Farkas

How do I update the source? In other words, I've made changes in the target document. I would like those changes to reflect back into the the source document from which I linked.

I used to do this years ago. Has this feature been discontinued?


2020-01-18 08:17:06

Harber

Did anyone get a solution? I too have this issue. I have many Excel graphs embedded as objects in Word. I just need to update the source file link and NOT the item link.


2019-12-08 16:49:06

Brett Agostini

This works exactly as described. But, here's my problem. Within my Word document, I have MANY linked Excel objects. They are non-adjacent within the Excel worksheet, as well as non-adjacent within the Word document.

This means I must do the procedure you describe MANY times.

But, all the links are to the same file. Is there no way I can just change the FILE referenced?

For example, say all my links from "Monthly Report.doc" are linked to "December Results.xls". At the end of January, I want to change "Monthly Report.doc" so now it looks at "January Results.xls." Is there no way I can do that just by changing the file name somewhere?

(Much like you can change the file referenced for a Mail Merge? I don't need to update every Form Field when I change files on a Mail Merge.)


2019-12-03 16:29:58

Jason Cosman

Did you ever figure out how to mass change the links?


2019-10-31 03:40:33

Qing Hui

how to mass change all the links? Your help is very much appreciated.


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