Fixing Links To UDFs in Addins

Pages in this article

  1. Fix #Name! Errors
  2. Detecting Workbook Opening
  3. Processing Newly Opened Workbook
  4. Handle Workbooks Opened From Explorer

Processing The Newly Opened Workbook

Once the add-in has detected that the user opened a new workbook some action has to be taken.

First of all, we'll check all external links of the workbook to see if any point to a file who's name resembles our add-in. After that (to be on the safe side, this is normally not needed) we also check all formulas which use our UDF(s) and update them so they point to our add-in.

The code shown below is part of a "normal" module called modProcessWBOpen:

Sub ProcessNewBookOpened(oBk As Workbook)
' Procedure : ProcessNewBookOpened
' Company   : JKP Application Development Services (c) 2005
' Author    : Jan Karel Pieterse
' Created   : 2-6-2008
' Purpose   : When a new workbook is opened, this sub will be run.
' Called from: clsAppEvents.App_Workbook_Open and ThisWorkbook.Workbook_Open
'Sometimes OBk is nothing?
    If oBk Is Nothing Then Exit Sub
    If oBk Is ThisWorkbook Then Exit Sub
    If oBk.IsInplace Then Exit Sub
    CheckAndFixLinks oBk
End Sub

Sub CheckAndFixLinks(oBook As Workbook)
' Procedure : CheckAndFixLinks Created by Jan Karel Pieterse
' Company   : JKP Application Development Services (c) 2008
' Author    : Jan Karel Pieterse
' Created   : 2-6-2008
' Purpose   : Checks for links to addin and fixes them
'             if they are not pointing to proper location
    Dim vLink As Variant
    Dim vLinks As Variant
    'Get all links
    vLinks = oBook.LinkSources(xlExcelLinks)
    'Check if we have any links, if not, exit
    If IsEmpty(vLinks) Then Exit Sub
    For Each vLink In vLinks
        If vLink Like "*" & ThisWorkbook.Name Then
            'We've found a link to our add-in, redirect it to
            'its current location. Avoid prompts
            Application.DisplayAlerts = False
            oBook.ChangeLink vLink, ThisWorkbook.FullName, xlLinkTypeExcelLinks
            Application.DisplayAlerts = True
        End If
    On Error GoTo 0
End Sub

Check out the comments in the code to find out what is going on.

Well, that should be all there is to it, right? Not so. Sometimes when one double clicks a file in Explorer, Excel has already opened that file BEFORE your add-in is fully loaded and initialised.

Next: How to handle workbooks opened from Explorer.



Showing last 8 comments of 18 in total (Show All Comments):


Comment by: Martin Zlamal (Mojin) (18-1-2016 10:19:35) deeplink to this comment

Hi Jan,
thanks for such a great guidance!

My final solution risks, that the UDF's full path always begins with apostrophe (') and ends with exclamation (!) – for example ='c:\path\add-in.xlam'!MyUDF(arg1). So the scripts searches cells for add-in's name, then finds the last apostrophe (in the left from found add-in's name) and finds the next exclamation (in the right) and replaces it all between with nothing. This should solve an eventual functions nesting.

Moreover, as I really like matrixes, the script should take into account the array formulas:
If oFound.HasArray Then 'check if the formula is part of a matrix
    oFound.FormulaArray = Replace(oFound.Formula, AddinPath, "")
    oFound.Formula = Replace(oFound.Formula, AddinPath, "")
End If

Once again thank you for a very helpful article!

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (18-1-2016 10:32:51) deeplink to this comment

Hi Martin,


Comment by: Jim Webb (13-6-2017 05:55:24) deeplink to this comment

Hi Martin Zlamal,

Yes, and if in Replace you split the formula string into a first part (containing the path you want to change) and a second part (rest of the string) and call the Replace function recursively on the second part, it will easily cope with multiple instances of the UDF path.

Comment by: Ivor Shaer (23-5-2018 04:19:54) deeplink to this comment

I need assistance please.

I use an userform to open workbooks and once the vba code has opened the required workbook it must (1) activate the workbook opened(2) activate a specified/named worksheet.

However, the code


gives an error message '9' Subscript out of range.

I then click "debug" and F5 and the macro runs perfectly to completion.

The code for opening the required workbook is definitely.
correct as I can see the opened workbook.

It thought that possibly the vba runs too fast so I put in a wait code. This did not help.

I also attempted a loop where if the code did not recognise that the file was open
If workbookopen(RequiredFile) = False

then it would open it again. This led to an infinite loop.

Do you have a solution for me please?

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (23-5-2018 10:47:21) deeplink to this comment

Hi Ivor,

Can you please show me the relevant piece of code?
NB: I have edited your message to include the closing /VB tag after each VBA line

Comment by: Josep (22-10-2020 11:38:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Jan,
Tank you for your workaround, it has been really helpful to me for a while.

However, now I am having a problem with protected worksheets. So I wonder if there could be a solution.

The worksheet is protected, but the cells containing the UDF are not. Once the file is opened I'm getting an error on the following line:

oBook.ChangeLink vLink, ThisWorkbook.FullName, xlLinkTypeExcelLinks

The error (translated from spanish): Run-time error '1004'. The command could not be run in a protected sheet. To use this command unprotect first the sheet (...).

Any advice from your side would be appreciated.
Best regards,

Comment by: Jan Karel Pieterse (22-10-2020 14:35:00) deeplink to this comment

Hi Joseph,

I advise to add code that first unprotects all sheets and afterwards, protects all sheets again.

Comment by: Robert Hudson (28-2-2022 16:03:00) deeplink to this comment

I've been pulling my hair out over this problem. I am immensely grateful for your sharing this code. I had a little trouble until you reminded me to add the following code to ThisWorkbook in the .xlam:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    Application.OnTime Now, "'" & ThisWorkbook.FullName & "'!InitApp"
End Sub

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