Microsoft KB Archive/101341

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XL: Links May Not Work After Moving Mac File to Excel for Windows

The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Excel for Windows, versions 2.x, 3.0, 4.0, 4.0a
  • Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh, versions 2.x, 3.0, 4.0


When you transfer files from Microsoft Excel for the Macintosh to Microsoft Excel for Windows, you may encounter linking problems if you are working with linked files.


This problem with linked files occurs because the Macintosh operating system allows you to create filenames that can exceed the eight-character limit imposed by MS-DOS. In addition, the Macintosh operating system allows you to include spaces and almost all punctuation in a filename.

Because of these differences in filenames, if a file is transferred (regardless of whether it is by Apple File Exchange or over a network), the possibility exists that the filename will be truncated. A truncated filename will impair any links that exist between the worksheets: since the name of the file has changed, Microsoft Excel will not be able to locate the file to which the link is pointing.

Note that Microsoft Excel for Windows 95, version 7.0, and Microsoft Excel 97 for Windows both support long file names. For this reason, the problem described above will be much less likely to occur when using these versions of Microsoft Excel.


To work around this problem, either:

  • Use the MS-DOS file naming conventions when you name your files on the Macintosh: that is, use an eight character filename with a three character filename extension. For example, name your file EXPENSES.XLS instead of ExpenseReport.


  • If you don't want to use the MS-DOS file naming conventions, you will need to re-establish the links between the files after you have transferred them to Microsoft Excel for Windows. To re-establish these links, do the following:

    1. Open the dependent file (the file that is linked to the source data file). If the source file is unopened, the dependent file will prompt you with the question "Update references to unopened documents?" Click No.
    2. On the File menu, click Links. A dialog box labeled Links will appear with a list of all the available links in the worksheet.

NOTE: The listed links will contain the Macintosh filenames (the long versions of the filenames).

    1. Press the TAB key to select the link that you want to change, and then click Change.
    2. In the Change Links dialog box, choose the source file from the list of files (bearing in mind that it has a new truncated name), and click OK. This will return you to the previous screen, at which point you should click either Close or OK.

When you return to the worksheet, you will notice that the link has been updated.

    1. Save the file.


If the links on the worksheet point to a function macro on a macro sheet, you must manually open the macro sheet the first time you want to use it.


"User's Guide 1", version 4.0, pages 362-368
"User's Guide", version 3.0, pages 307-316

Additional query words: 4.00a 3.0

Keywords : kbinterop
Version : WINDOWS:2.0,3.0,4.0; MACINTOSH:2.0,3.0,4.0
Issue type : kbprb
Technology :

Last Reviewed: April 12, 2000
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