I opened two spreadsheets from an email, spreadsheet June & November. Both June & November in cell A1 reference a [CashInput.xlsx]CashInput$A$1 that was saved on the spreadsheet creator's hard drive. My machine does not have access to the creator's hard drive. The value in A1 is different between spreadsheets June (Value=1) & November (Value=2) when opened in read only mode because the value in CashInput$A$1 was changed before November was created.

However, when enabling editing on the spreadsheets, the first spreadsheet to be "enabled", whether June or November, will reflect the value in the other's A1 field. So June A1 will change to 2 if you first enable editing in June followed by enabling editing November. November A1 will change to 1 if you first enable editing in November followed by enabling editing in June. Nothing else changes (that you can see). If you enable editing without the other open the value stays the same.

Why does this happen? My theory is that 2 cells in the same instance of Excel with the same source cannot reflect different values, even if the source can't be reached. Is there anything that can prevent this from happening?

closed as unclear what you're asking by CharlieRB, DavidPostill, Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Steven, Dave Feb 12 '16 at 14:59

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Welcome to Super User. Your question is difficult to follow as it contains many details not relevant to the question being ask. Also, you need to ask a specific question. "Has anyone experienced anything like this" is too vague and is not likely to get a helpful answer. Please read How to Ask, then update your question so we can help you. – CharlieRB Feb 5 '16 at 16:51
  • Changed it as best I could. It is difficult to understand without a narrative. – Nolan Feb 5 '16 at 19:05

According to this article on MSDN, the workbooks reference the same internal link table. The stated work-around (not verified) is to open each in a separate instance of Excel.


If you open multiple Excel workbooks that all contain links to the same source workbook, and you choose not to update the links, the links in all of the workbooks will be updated to the values that are stored in the last workbook that was opened.


This behavior occurs because link information is stored in an internal link table. This link table is shared among all open workbooks in that instance of Excel. The most recently opened workbook provides the link table that is in memory at any specific time.


To work around to this behavior, open the workbooks in different instances of Excel. As a result, each workbook maintains its own internal link table and stored values.

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