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: Working with Document Links.

Working with Document Links

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 3, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007 and 2010


After you have linked information from other applications into your documents, you may want to someday review those links to see which applications your document is dependent upon. How you do this depends on the version of Word you are using.

  • If you are using Word 2007, click the Office button, click Prepare, and finally click Edit Links to Files.
  • If you are using Word 2010, display the File tab of the ribbon, click Info, and finally click Edit Links to Files.

Regardless of which version you are using, Word displays the Links dialog box. (If the option to edit links is not available, it means that Word doesn't think there are any links in the current document.) (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Links dialog box.

The Links dialog box lists all the objects linked to your document. From the dialog box you can do the following:

  1. Manually update the linked information by selecting it and then clicking on the Update Now button.
  2. Change the source from which linked information is derived by selecting the link and then clicking on the Change Source button. (This displays another dialog box in which you can specify the new file location.)
  3. Break a document link by selecting the link and then clicking on the Break Link button.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10024) applies to Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Working with 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 3 + 7?

2022-01-25 08:46:20


The following procedure worked for me in Word 365 as well:

"If you are using Word 2010, display the File tab of the ribbon, click Info, and finally click Edit Links to Files."

2017-09-25 19:48:25


Why haven't you updated this for versions of Office post 2010?

2017-05-09 02:11:58

Belela henry

Some fields can be locked, so they are never updated even when someone issues an update field command. For example, if you use a field to enter the current date on the day the document was created, you do not want to update this field each time you open the document.

Some fields are updated from fields in the Field dialog box. Selecting this checkbox will add \! Change the code string for this field. You can manually type the rate in the code string if it finds it easier to return to the Field dialog box.

If the field you want to block does not include \! Switch as part of the syntax, here's another way: Click the field and press Ctrl + F11. To make sure that the field is locked, right-click it; the Update Field command is not available in the menu that appears.

2016-05-13 05:29:59

Yvonne Kerry

I've had all sorts of issues with links. I have a Word document I am using as a Train the Trainer manual. This is linked at various points to a slide in a PowerPoint presentation so they know which notes are for which slide. I wanted to be able to link the 2 files so that ant changes to the slide are reflected in the manual. Both files have remained in the same folder and never moved. Frequently though the links fail to update. They become broken and no amount of updating links will make them work again. I'm left with a static picture of the slide. Can anyone suggest what might be going wrong? Do I just have too many links?

2015-10-22 14:58:45


I need to up date my cover letter and resume. Sense I up graded to window 10, it's like I have no document support.

2015-03-24 22:07:50


Locating "Edit Links to Files"
1./ IN Very Right Column
2./ at bottom of list
3./ Usually Second Line from the bottom
4./ above "Show All Properties"

As said in the main article "If the option to edit links is not available, it means that Word doesn't think there are any links in the current document."

Hope this helps all

2014-12-17 16:57:07


How do you change the Source File for ALL the tables linked in one MS Word 2013 document to one MS Excel 2013 spreadsheet? Changing one at a time is way too slow! Even if I press & hold CTRL when selecting all the links in the Links dialog box, when I click the Change Source button, it makes me choose the new Source File for every link. Is there a way to expedite this?

2014-09-11 09:17:16

Jim V

I'm having a problem with this feature and was hoping someone could help. As background, I never use "paste link" when pasting a chart from Excel into Word and yet Word insists on creating a link back to the original workbook (as discussed above). I don't need or want the links because they cause all types of problems. I've tried to fix this by going to "Edit Links in File" and "Break Link" but Word keeps a "Null" Source File link which then results in an error message.

Unfortunately, I can't use "Paste as...picture" because I lose the ability to change the chart colors; or "Paste as...Microsoft Excel Chart Object" because it then embeds the workbook into the Word file (some of my Excel files are 10M

This leave me with the option of "Paste as Microsoft Office Graphic Object" which keeps linking back to Excel

The workaround I have is to break the links in the first Word document and then copy and paste as "Microsoft Office Graphic Object" which then makes the broken link go away.

Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

I'm using Office 2010 on Windows 7.


2014-08-27 13:50:48


In Windows 2010 after clicking File and Info it was difficult to find the "edit links" option but eventually I found it. It was not one of the big buttons but was at the bottom of the section on the right. It is only there if the file has links to edit.

2014-04-12 00:08:03


How do you change the Source File for ALL linked tables in MS Word 2010. Linked tables are created in MS Excel 2010. One at a time is very slow. I tried to View filed codes, Search and replace but I get an error when I try to update the links "Word is unable to the object you specified. Please insert the object directly into your file without creating a link". This is not helpful! Can anyone help me?

2014-03-08 18:51:17


After File > Info, I don't see Edit Links to Files.

2014-03-07 18:00:51


The terminology has been a bit vague for me. My experience with Word 2010 is that the links dialog refers only to object links, but not hyperlinks. Less useful, but there you have it.

If I could only learn why it won't let me create a link to a SharePoint document....

2014-03-07 12:18:49

Morris Manning

Ping, Since the links dialog is unavailable, it is likely that the links are permanently gone but, since glitches happen, create a link to force links dialog to display. If only the created link is displayed under source file, recreate the links and delete the created link.

2012-06-14 12:55:31

Ping Hsiao

I created a Word template and inserted links to documents located on our network. The folder that the template was located in and reference docs was moved and I need to update the links, however when I go to File > Info there is no option to Edit Links. How can I get Word to recognize that there are links in the document? Thanks for the help.

P Hsiao

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