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Should I Update Linked Files When I Open PowerPoint?

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Updates When Linking Files From PowerPoint
Security prompt appears to ask about updating PowerPoint with any changes in Word file

Security prompt appears to ask about updating PowerPoint with any changes in Word file

© Wendy Russell

Should I Update Linked Files When I Open PowerPoint?

At times, you will open a PowerPoint presentation and be cautioned that this file contains links to other files. You then, have to decide whether to update your presentation with any changes to those other files, or choose to ignore the warning. The details below will explain the situation.

The beauty of using Microsoft Office products, is that all of these programs are integrated so that each can be used in conjunction with the others and file linking is very easy to do -- with excellent results.

Some Examples

The advantage of linking to files from other programs is that when the linked file is changed in any way -- (if the chart data is changed in the above-mentioned Excel file, or the font color or text content is changed in the Word file), on opening PowerPoint, you are prompted (and cautioned) about updating your presentation with this new data.

Microsoft PowerPoint Security Notice
Referring to the image above, you will note that what is presented is the Microsoft PowerPoint Security Notice dialog box.

  • You are cautioned that you need to trust the source of the linked file prior to updating.
  • Upon updating, the latest change to the linked file will be shown.
  • If you do not choose to make these updates (by clicking on the Cancel button), your PowerPoint presentation will remain as it was on the last instance you saved.

In most cases, you will want to click the Update Links button.

Note - In the case where you need two copies of the presentation -- an original file and one with the updates -- follow these steps.

  1. Either make a copy of the PowerPoint file prior to opening or choose not to update and then save this file with a different file name and then close that new file.
  2. Next, open the original presentation file and agree to the update. You will now have two versions of your presentation -- one with and one without changes.

Next - PowerPoint Slide Reflects Changes When Updating Linked Files

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