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Office Links and File Server Migration

Links in Excel, Word and PowerPoint

During a file server migration usually Microsoft Office files are migrated as well. But Word, Excel or PowerPoint files may have links to other files or web pages. These links should be considered before the migration.

Excel LinksThe links can be stored in one of the following ways in a Microsoft Office file :

  • UNC path (\\server\share\folder\file)
  • Server relative path (/share/folder/file)
  • Folder relative path (..\..\folder\file)
  • Drive path (P:\folder\file)


Avoid broken links

If you don't change the folder structure or the folder names there is a high chance that most of your links won't be broken after the migration or update themselves automatically (when you open a certain file).


With our free software FirstWare-LinkInspector, you can get an overview of how the links are actually stored in your Office files. You can save the result of the analysis as a tsv file (tab sperated CSV). Open the report file with MS Excel to continue your analysis and decide how you want to proceed with the links.

Scan the following link types :

  • Excel links
  • Word links
  • PowerPoint links
  • OLE links
  • hyperlinks
  • Web links
  • picture links
  • Excel cell references
  • File associations ( . LNK files )


Microsoft Word and PowerPoint - Contacting template files

If you open a doc(x) or ppt(X) file, Microsoft Word and PowerPoint try to find the template on which the document was originally created. Due to a file server migration the template could be moved as well. If the template can't be found at the original location, it may take several minutes for the document to be opened.

To analyze which template paths are used in your documents, you can also use our free FirstWare-LinkInspector.

a filled column 'template path' tells you, that Word or Powerpoint will look for the template at startup. Save the report file and analyze it via Excel. Sort the column 'template path' and use filters to get a better idea of the links in your files.


Please visit the file server migration page or contact us for further information or recommendations concerning your data migration.

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