"Paste: Link" does not work in tables

New Contributor

Is there some way to enable the use of "paste link" inside tables?


I am creating a workbook to track contracts and invoices for multiple projects. The first tab is a master list of all the items I am actively tracking. Subsequent tabs are specific to a project and will include active and finalized processes. The table on the master list and the table on subsequent tabs are formatted identically.


I would like to use the "paste: link" option in the master table so that cells will automatically update as I change the entries on the respective tabs. However, the "paste: link" option is only present if I choose a cell outside of the table. This indicates there is something specific to tables that is blocking the use of the "paste: link" function.


Attached are two images showing an attempt to paste data from one tab into another. The images show "past: link" available when outside the table and not available when inside the table.


If I manually enter the commands inserted by "paste: link" (e.g. ='Tab Name'!A3), formatting for certain cells gets lost, and reformating half a dozen cells each time I create a new entry is annoying. For example, dates appear as a string of numbers. If I use the "paste: link" option and insert the same information in a cell outside the table, the dates show up as intended. 


Any ideas on how to resolve this issue?

link available.pnglink not available.png

4 Replies
best response confirmed by AandNSeaver (New Contributor)


As you have found, Paste Link is not compatible with tables, so if you want to use the advantages of Paste Link, you'll have to convert your table to an ordinary range.

Alternatively, you could create a macro that formats selected cells the way you want. If you assign the macro to a Quick Access Toolbar button and/or a custom keyboard shortcut, you can easily run it.

@Hans Vogelaar Thank you for the information. 

It is annoying that the “paste link” function does not work within a table. On the bright side, I took your advice and made a simple macro which works well. I had never made a macro so this was a good learning experience. Thank you for the advice.

@Hans Vogelaar Out of curiosity, do you know why it is incompatible?  I'm not an Excel expert, but I'm struggling to think of a reason for this limitation.


I don't know why that is. Probably something technical.