Home > Sample chapters > Microsoft Office > Excel

Using Formulas and Functions in Microsoft Excel 2013

Creating formulas that reference cells in other workbooks

One of the strengths of Excel is that you aren’t limited to using cells from the current workbook in your formulas. If you want, you can use data from any other workbook in your calculations. For example, you might have a workbook in which you track monthly advertising sales for your newsletter. If you want to create a new workbook to summarize all income and expenses for your publication, you can do so. By letting you create formulas that reference cells from more than one workbook, Excel makes it easy for you to organize your workbooks so that each workbook holds data about a specific subject. Not only can you find the data easily, you can reference it anywhere else.

After you create links between workbooks, you can have Excel update your calculation if the data in the linked cell changes. You can also change the cell to which you linked, or if the workbook with the cell to which you linked has been moved or deleted, you can delete the link and have Excel store the last value from the calculation.

Use cells from other workbooks in a formula

  1. Open the workbook with the cell that you want to reference in your formula.

  2. Display the workbook where you want to create the formula.

  3. In the workbook cell where you want to create the formula, type = followed by the first part of the formula.

  4. Click the View tab.

  5. Click Switch Windows.

  6. Click the name of the workbook with the cell that you want to include in the formula.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages1602923.jpg
  7. Select the cells with the values that you want to use in the formula.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages1602925.jpg
  8. Press Enter.

Break links to other workbooks and convert to values

  1. Click the cell that contains the formula that you want to edit.

  2. Select the part of the formula representing the link that you want to break.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages1602927.jpg
  3. Press F9.

  4. Press Enter.

Refresh links

  1. Click the Data tab.

  2. In the Connections group, click Refresh All.

    httpatomoreillycomsourcemspimages1602929.jpg