Use PowerPoint’s Edit Links Command to Break, Update or Change Excel Links

Article by: Avantix Learning Team

Posted: March 7, 2017

Applies to: Microsoft® PowerPoint® 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016 (Windows)

If you insert linked Excel charts or worksheet data into a PowerPoint presentation, it’s common to want to break, update or change the links at some point. However, with newer versions of PowerPoint, it’s difficult to find the Edit Links command which is used to break, update and change links.

Also, if you break links to charts, this can result in a significant reduction in the size of a presentation.

Recommended article: How to Insert Linked Excel Charts in PowerPoint Presentations

Finding PowerPoint’s Edit Links command in the Ribbon

To display the Edit Links command using the Ribbon in 2010, 2013 or 2016:

  1. Save the presentation. If you’re going to break links, save a copy of the presentation.
  2. Click on the File tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click on Info.
  4. In the bottom right corner, under Related Documents, click on Edit Links to Files. This command will appear only if links exist and you have saved the file.

Below is the Edit Links button in PowerPoint 2010 (which is in the same location in PowerPoint 2013 and 2016):

File Info in PowerPoint with Edit Links button.

To display the Edit Links command using the Ribbon in 2007:

  1. Save the presentation. If you’re going to break links, save a copy of the presentation.
  2. Click on the Office button in the Ribbon.
  3. Click on Prepare.
  4. Click on Edit Links.

Adding the Edit Links Command to the Quick Access Toolbar

If you’re going to work with links regularly, you may want to add the Edit Links command to the Quick Access toolbar (the process is the same in 2007, 2010, 2013 and 2016):

  1. Click on the arrow on the right side of the Quick Access Toolbar (this toolbar appears above or below the Ribbon).
  2. Select More Commands. The Options dialog box appears.
  3. From the drop-down menu below Choose commands from, select All Commands.
  4. In the list of commands on the left, click on Edit Links to Files.
  5. Click on Add.
  6. Click on OK. The Edit Links to Files button will appear on the Quick Access Toolbar. It will become active when you have inserted a linked chart, worksheet data or other object.

Below is the Options dialog box in PowerPoint 2010 (which is the same in PowerPoint 2007, 2013 and 2016 for adding buttons to the Quick Access Toolbar):

Options dialog box in Microsoft PowerPoint with the Edit Links button being added to the Quick Access Toolbar.

Breaking links

To break links:

  1. Save a copy of the presentation.
  2. In the copy, display the Edit Links dialog box using the Ribbon method above or by clicking on the Edit Links to Files button if you’ve added it to the Quick Access Toolbar. The Edit Links dialog box appears.
  3. Click on the link you wish to break.
  4. Click on Break Link.
  5. Click on OK.
  6. Repeat for other links.
  7. Click on Close.

Below is the Edit Links dialog box in 2010 (which is almost identical in 2007, 2013 and 2016):

Edit Links dialog box in PowerPoint 2010.

Updating links

To update links:

  1. Save the presentation.
  2. Display the Edit Links dialog box using the Ribbon method above or by clicking on the Edit Links to Files button if you’ve added it to the Quick Access Toolbar. The Edit Links dialog box appears.
  3. Click on the link you wish to update.
  4. Click on Update Now. You can also select the Automatic Update checkbox to automatically update for future changes.
  5. Repeat for other links.
  6. Click on Close.

Changing the source of a link

If the source file has been moved or renamed, you will need to change the source.

To change the source of a link:

  1. Save the presentation.
  2. Display the Edit Links dialog box using the Ribbon method above or by clicking on the Edit Links to Files button if you’ve added it to the Quick Access Toolbar. The Edit Links dialog box appears.
  3. Click on the link you wish to change.
  4. Click on Change Source.
  5. Navigate to the new location of the file and click on it.
  6. Click on Open.
  7. Click on Close.

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Copyright 2017 Avantix Learning Inc.

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