Using direct links to link Excel files

What will this let me do?

You will be able to pull cell values from any Excel file on Box that has a publicly shared link. Any changes made to the source Excel file will be reflected in the destination file the next time it is updated. 

What are the limitations?

  • The soure excel file must be accessable publicly, you would not be able to limit access to people in the company or people in the file.
  • Your destination pulls down a copy of the source at a moment in time. Changes to the source will not reflect in the destination until it is reopened or refreshed.


Before we can link to a source file in Excel, we must first share it:

Once in the sharing window, we need to make sure the file is available publicly (people with the link):

With that done we can now get our direct link. Go ahead and hit the gear above "Copy" to get into the advanced sharing options and copy our direct link:

Using your link in Excel

You should have a link in your clipboard that looks something like this:

We can now take that link and place it in Excel. Let's say we were interested in B6's value on the worksheet 'Balance'; here's what we would put in Excel:

The form should always be: ='[lettersAndNumbersInBrackets.xlsx]WorksheetName'!Cell

Any time we open this file, it will update the cell based on what our source's B6 is at that moment in time. We can link to any other cells by changing !B6 to other values, or we can drag that cell down to get B7, 8 9 ect.. as we can with any local excel values.


Q: What happens if I move that source file around in Box?

A: Nothing. The shared link will not change if you move the file to another location in Box. 


Q: What happens if I rename the source file?

A: Nothing. The name of the source file does not change the shared link either.


Q: Can I link to multiple Excel files?

A: Yes. You can link to as many publicly shared Excel files as you want.


Q: What happens if I make the link available to only the company or people in the file?

A: You will get an error the next time you open an Excel document that utilizes that link.


Q: What happens if that link gets out into the world?

A: Anyone in the world with the link would be able to download your source file.


Q: Does this mean that anyone can edit my source file?

A: No, the ability to edit is handled at the folder level. You've just given everyone the ability to view and download the file if they've got the link.



Article ID: 46533
Fri 1/19/18 10:10 AM
Tue 4/4/23 10:08 AM