Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007 and 2010. 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 April 25, 2017)


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. You do this in the following manner:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  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.) 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.

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 and 2010. 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 one less than 4?

2017-05-04 10:00:12

Dorian Cosentino

Thanks for the tip.
To help others where is the option in word 2016 see the image (see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. edit link to files word 2016

2017-05-04 09:56:58

Dorian Cosentino

Thanks for the tip.
To help others where is the option in word 2016 see the image [{fig}]

2017-04-25 05:23:00



I am working with Word 2010, and there is no "Prepare" on the left side of the "Options" dialog - therefore I cannot follow your tip.


2016-11-10 12:09:48


I have a Word document that contains links to PDFs and Excel documents. If I PDF this Word document and send it out to vendors, will the linked documents (that are located here on network drives) still bring up the PDF or Excel document when they click the link?

2014-12-27 19:18:38


Rajan, click on one of the linked areas. Then hit Alt+F9. Now do a find and replace of all the locations you're trying to replace.


2014-03-04 01:25:59


Your Tip is very useful. But i have more than 100 links and it will take so much time to change source of each and every link. Please suggest how i can change source of all links together (in one command).

Your support will be appreciated.

2013-07-16 12:05:29

John McMullen

When you do Change Source on that dialog box, there is a button marked Item. In Word files, the Item seems to be a bookmark name (if you need it). In an Excel file, it's any of a number of things, but all of them are locations--a cell name or range, for instance. I've only found one for Visio, which is Drawing~pagename, where pagename is the name of a page (duh).

Is there a list of these anywhere, for all the different Office programs? It would sure help those of us who try to link them up. I'd love to know if there are additional things you can put in for a Visio document or a PowerPoint slide deck.

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