Excel provides the ability to connect a cell to data entered into another cell. A linked cell behaves as if it actually contains the data in the original cell.
A reference that refers to the same cell or range on multiple sheets is called a 3-D reference. A 3-D reference is a useful and convenient way to reference several worksheets that follow the same pattern while cells on each worksheet contain the same type of data. Grouping worksheets is an important skill to have for many more reasons than creating 3-D formulas.
Creating names for cells can make formulas between worksheets and workbooks much easier to understand and maintain. You can define a name for a cell range, function, constant, or table. A 3D named range is a name that spans more than one worksheet.
Although you can copy and paste data from one Excel file to another, you can also create a link between two files or workbooks. When you create a link between files, the copied data updates when the original data changes.
Once links between workbooks are created, the links have to be maintained if the source files are moved or renamed.
The consolidate function in Excel combines information from multiple workbooks into one place. The Excel consolidate function lets you select data from its various locations and creates a table to summarize the information for you.
Linking and consolidating data in Excel workbooks is an important skill for those who use Excel on a regular basis. Linking data can be used to prevent holding many copies of the same data.
It is an excellent method of showing a summary of up to date data.
We all collect data and store it in multiple workbooks and in multiple worksheets. Summarizing data within a single worksheet is done on a regular basis. But at times you may want to combine data from multiple workbooks and worksheets into a YTD summary or consolidate data from multiple worksheets in a single worksheet.
Excel has many options for linking and consolidating data in Excel workbooks that allow you to create these summary reports.
Any professional who uses Excel will benefit from learning how to use linked data, create external reference formulas and consolidate data in Excel.
Years of Experience: 44+ years
Areas of Expertise: Microsoft Office
Cathy Horwitz believes that when your employees know the capabilities of the software they use, they will demonstrate improved productivity, will be more efficient and will be able to problem solve more easily.
Cathy teaches classes on the Microsoft suite of application software including Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Access and Outlook. Cathy has over 30 years of experience in classroom training and application support with personal computers and has been an instructor for the Microsoft Office Suite since 1989.
Her strengths include customizing classes based on the needs of individual students and providing realistic business examples to compliment training. She is a high energy trainer with a flair for training the adult student.
When not teaching, Cathy enjoys shopping estate sales and refinishing mid-century furniture.