XL2000: "Cannot Open Specified File" Clicking Hyperlink

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Article ID: 211503 - View products that this article applies to.
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In Microsoft Excel, when you click a hyperlink that is linked to a defined name or a range in another workbook, you may receive the following error message
Cannot open the specified file.
and the window of the workbook to which you are hyperlinking is hidden.


This will occur if all of the following conditions are true:

  • You created a hyperlink using the HYPERLINK worksheet function.


  • The "link_location" argument of the HYPERLINK function uses the syntax:
    workbook name!defined name or range;

    For example:
    "C:\My Documents\Mybook.xls!Alpha"


    "C:\My Documents\Mybook.xls!$A$1"


  • If you are referring to a defined name, the defined name in question is not contained on the first worksheet in the workbook.


To prevent this problem from occurring, use the following syntax in the "link_location" argument of the HYPERLINK function:
[workbook name]defined name or range

So, instead of using this
=HYPERLINK("C:\My Documents\Mybook.xls!Alpha")

you should use
=HYPERLINK("[C:\My Documents\Mybook.xls]Alpha")

=HYPERLINK("[C:\My Document\Mybook.xls]$A$1")

If you use the incorrect syntax, the error message in the "Symptoms" section appears, and the window of the workbook to which you are hyperlinking becomes hidden. To unhide the workbook, follow these steps:
  1. On the Window menu, click Unhide.
  2. Click the name of the workbook you want to unhide and click OK.
You can then close or save the workbook, as necessary.


The HYPERLINK worksheet function in Microsoft Excel allows you to create a hyperlink, or jump, to web pages and Microsoft Office documents.

If you use the HYPERLINK function to create a link to a defined name within a Microsoft Excel workbook, you must use the [workbook name]defined name syntax when you refer to the defined name. If you use the more traditional workbook name!defined name or range syntax, the hyperlink may not work correctly.


Article ID: 211503 - Last Review: October 7, 2003 - Revision: 3.0
  • Microsoft Excel 2000 Standard Edition
kbweb kbprb KB211503

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