Error in Linked PivotTable Value

Adam has two workbooks; call them A and B. In workbook A he has a link to a value in a PivotTable that is in workbook B. When he opens workbook A and workbook B is not open, Adam gets a #REF! error for the link. He wonders if there is any way to avoid getting the error when linking to a PivotTable value in a workbook that is not open.

There are a couple of ways you can approach this problem. Both methods involve understanding how Excel references the PivotTable value in workbook A. When you create a link to the value and both workbook A and workbook B are open, the reference will look something like this:

=GETPIVOTDATA("TotalValue",'C:XLDocs[MyData.xls]PTable'!$H$15,"EName","Rac")

One way to handle the problem is to envelope the reference within an IF statement, in this manner:

=IF(ISERROR(=GETPIVOTDATA("TotalValue",'C:XLDocs[MyData.xls]PTable'!
$H$15,"EName","Rac")),"Make sure Workbook B is Open", =GETPIVOTDATA(
"TotalValue",'C:XLDocs[MyData.xls]PTable'!$H$15,"EName","Rac"))

The formula checks the result of the GETPIVOTDATA function, and if it returns an error value (like when workbook B is not open), it displays a message. Only if there is no error value will the value in workbook B be fetched.

Another way is to modify the original reference so that the GETPIVOTDATA function is not being used. (It is this particular function that is generating the error when workbook B is not open.) Here’s the way you should redo the reference so that the value is referenced directly instead of through a function:

='C:MyWorkXLDocs[MyData.xls]PTable'!$H$15

When the reference is rewritten in this manner, the error condition isn’t returned.