Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Avoiding the Update Links Message.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 29, 2018)
Michael notes that, as he expects, Word automatically updates links when he opens a document. The problem is that when other users of his workbook see the "Do you want to update links" message that appears at startup, they don't understand what is happening. Michael wonders if there is a way to either suppress the message or set the default to "Yes" (to update links) so that the message never appears.
The answer is "yes" and "sort of." (Sounds confusing, right?) You can set the default to yes, but that doesn't guarantee that the users won't be asked again about updates.
If you want to set the default to yes, so that the links will be updated automatically on your machine, you can follow these steps:
Figure 1. The General section of the Advanced options of the Word options dialog box.
With this setting established, your default is established—you want links updated when the document is opened. The problem, of course, is that this is a per-machine setting. As long as someone is using your machine, there is no problem. If you give the document (or series of documents, since there are links between them) to someone else who doesn't have the setting made, then their links won't be updated automatically.
There is one way around this, and that is with an AutoOpen macro. A simple one, to change the one setting, could appear as follows:
Sub AutoOpen() Word.Options.UpdateLinksAtOpen = True End Sub
Of course, such an approach simply replaces one problem with another problem. If your users are confused by being asked about links, then there is just as great a chance that they will be confused when asked if macros should be enabled in the document they are opening.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11410) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Avoiding the Update Links Message.
Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!
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