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Excel 2013 Bible by John Walkenbach

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Chapter 28: Linking and Consolidating Worksheets

In This Chapter

Using various methods to link workbooks

Consolidating multiple worksheets

In this chapter, I discuss two procedures that you might find helpful: linking and consolidation. Linking is the process of using references to cells in external workbooks to get data into your worksheet. Consolidation combines or summarizes information from two or more worksheets (which can be in multiple workbooks).

Linking Workbooks

As you may know, Excel allows you to create formulas that contain references to other workbook files. In such a case, the workbooks are linked in such a way that one depends upon the other. The workbook that contains the external reference formulas is the dependent workbook (because it contains formulas that depend upon another workbook). The workbook that contains the information used in the external reference formula is the source workbook (because it's the source of the information).

When you consider linking workbooks, you may ask yourself the following question: If Workbook A needs to access data in another workbook (Workbook B), why not just enter the data into Workbook A in the first place? In some cases, you can. But the real value of linking becomes apparent when the source workbook is being continually updated by another person or group. Creating a link in Workbook A to Workbook B means that in Workbook A, you always have access to the most recent information in Workbook B because Workbook A is updated ...

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