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(I don't believe this is duplicate of LibreOffice Calc prompting to update “links to other files”. Why?. See below for why.)

The title basically says it. I have an .xls file originally created with Excel 2007. As far as I'm aware, it doesn't have any links in it, and Links... on the Edit menu is disabled (greyed-out). When I open it in LibreOffice 3.4.4, it asks

This file contains links to other files.

Should they be updated?

[Yes] [No]

I've always said No. Again, as Edit menu, Links... is greyed-out, apparently there aren't really any external links. I don't think the file even has internal links. It does have multiple worksheets in it.

I've seen the question I mentioned above, but the OP wasn't sure whether Edit | Links... used to be active and stopped getting the question, and the only answer there assumes that Edit | Links... was active, so clearly not an answer to what I'm looking at.

How do I fix the file so I don't get this question every time I open it (without changing my options to always update links)?

Immediately after posting the question, I thought: I wonder if saving it as an .ods file will fix it. So I did that, and then opened the .ods file. I got the question, but when I say "No," the Edit | Links... menu item is enabled, and when I go into it, I find what LibreOffice thinks are links to other files.

So I thought I had an answer, but sadly no. If I tell it to break both of the links it displays and save the .ods file, the next time I go back in, one of the links reappears on the list. Removing it again, resaving, and going back in don't help; I did it at least four times and the link just keeps reappearing.

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Thanks T.J. - Your comment actually helped solve my issue where I was trying to identify to a client what the links in a file were and could not see them. Not much good for your scenario, but helped me out. – George Mauer May 7 '12 at 13:44
An addition to T.J. Crowder's answer: There is no way to break links in LibreOffice 3.5. Seems like two different bugs in LibreOffice here (not showing the links when you open the .xls file, and not successfully breaking them when saving to no-matter-what-format-is and using Break Link). Bugs got some updates:) P.S. This supposed to be as comment but I have no reputation points here. – user1724911 Oct 1 '14 at 13:10
up vote 4 down vote accepted

I found a workaround. Hopefully somebody will have a better answer, but if not, perhaps this will help anyone else having the same problem.

Here's the workaround (this was with LibreOffice 3.4.4):

  1. Open the .xls file
  2. Say "No" to the question
  3. Save the file as an 1.0 spreadsheet (.sxc) (not .ods, that won't work, see the update at the end of the question)
  4. Open the new .sxc file
  5. Say "No" to the question
  6. Go to Edit | Links...
  7. Break any links you find
  8. Save the file
  9. Use "Save as" to save it back to whatever format you actually want (.xls, .ods, etc.)
  10. Delete the temporary .sxc file

Now the links are well and truly broken. Seems like two different bugs in LibreOffice here (not showing the links when you open the .xls file, and not successfully breaking them when saving to .ods and using Break Link), which I'll go report.

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The links may be in range names, try look at Insert|Names|Manage there may be range names created by Excel that were linked to external files

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Please expand your answer. – Lee Taylor Mar 19 '13 at 12:32

Expanding a little on the answer form @wkcsgm, Excel/LibreOffice/whatever let you name ranges to use as shortcuts elsewhere. It's described in the LibreOffice documentation. That led me to a reasonable resolution to this problem. Apparently, once upon a time, I had made a graph in my spreadsheet referencing data from another sheet. I then deleted the graph. But various names of things from the graph had been saved as "Managed Names"; they looked like label names. It was a long time ago. I've been getting a message about "...links to other files" every time I open the spreadsheet, but that's not super-often so I haven't cared until today.

But I digress. Although there were no links to other data, there were references to those labels in the "Manage Names" menu one gets to by Insert > Names > Manage. Once I removed those names, saved, and reopened my document, the dialog didn't come back.

I think this work today will save me upwards to two minutes' worth of unnecessary clicks on "no" over the course of my lifetime, but I feel better now that I understand where those links came from.

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As I said in the question: I never had links to something else. – T.J. Crowder Nov 16 '15 at 5:26

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