Users of Microsoft Excel are getting a handy new feature this week. Specifically, Workbook Links are coming to the web version of the spreadsheet application. According to Microsoft, the feature allows Office users to stay in Excel on the web.
“When collecting data from multiple workbooks, it's often desirable to link directly to the data. Why? It provides a record of where the data was sourced and, if the data changes, you can easily refresh it. This has made Workbook Link support a highly requested feature for our web users.”
Until this release, users would need to access the Microsoft Excel app on desktop (Windows or Mac) to link workbooks. Now Workbook Links are supported in the web version, allowing users to paste direct links into their spreadsheets.
Now, users can copy a data range from a source and paste it into the web Excel through “Paste Options”, just like any other copy/paste scenario.
It is worth noting the source spreadsheet must also be created on the web version of Excel. Furthermore, it must also be saved in Microsoft's SharePoint or OneDrive services. Still, it is nice to see a much-requested tool is finally landing on Excel.
Using the Feature
Users can access links from a new “Workbook Links” section found in the Data tab on the Microsoft Excel ribbon. Here, options include a visible list of all active links and the ability to break links or refresh them individually or in a batch.
Here users can also check the status of links. For example, if a link is old and does not have an update, the users receives a notification.
Microsoft says Workbook Links are coming to Excel on the web in stages. This means some users may not see the feature right now, but it is coming.