I have a spread sheet that recently started asking "This file contains links to other files, should they be updated". I have been using this file for a while and don't know why it started, what it means, or how to stop it. Any suggestions?

LibreOffice 3.4.4
OOO340m1 (Build:402)
Running on Ubuntu 11.10

  • Have you ever copied content over from another document? The content may have been linked instead of embedded.
    – iglvzx
    Feb 4, 2012 at 22:09
  • Possibly, it is in a group of files that I sometimes do, can you explain a little and put it in an answer?
    – Dennis
    Feb 4, 2012 at 22:32
  • @iglvzx, please try superuser.com/questions/418079/… woraround. However, it doesn't work for me :(
    – user140070
    Jun 14, 2012 at 8:15

2 Answers 2


You have the choice to embed or link to an object when you insert content into your document from another source. Paste Special also gives you a choice to link objects from the clipboard.

paste special

Each method has it's own benefits. With embedding, all the content is contained within a single file. This simplifies distributing documents or moving them around, as all the content moves together. On the other hand, linking reduces redundancy, by having a single source for an object. A link's path can be relative or absolute.

Since you are receiving a message about linked objects in your file, the Edit > Links command will highlight them for you. You can then remove the links and the objects will instead be embedded.

edit links





I am having issues with Break Link in LibreOffice 3.4.5. It should be removing the links and embedding the latest contents, but the link persists after saving and closing.

  • 1
    Ok, the last time it happened (right before I posted the question) I hit the yes (update) button. Previously I had always said no because I wasn't sure what was up. Now it isn't asking me anymore and the Edit>Links doesn't show anything. So I obviously ruined my chances of being certain, but this is good info that I didn't know before so I'm going to accept it. Thanks
    – Dennis
    Feb 5, 2012 at 0:52
  • 1
    Thanks for the Edit -> Links suggestion, unfortunately I have a workbook where I get the same prompt as the OP but Edit -> Links is grayed out. May 2, 2012 at 21:25

Sometimes this can happen because of pasting a formula from another sheet that references something not in the current sheet (giving a #REF! error), then deleting it again.

It can be easily fixed by going into Insert > Names > Manage and deleting the problem named reference. (Shortcut: Ctrl+F3).

Credit to this answer, but I note someone had asked here as well.

  • Thanks for the tip. It worked for me: after I found a #REF! cell and deleted its content, I saved the spreadsheet file, closed LibreOffice Calc and opened the spreadsheet file again. The issue doesn't happen anymore. Thanks again. Nov 22, 2016 at 22:22

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