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How to enable auto update on LibreOffice calc

asked 2019-07-12 18:57:43 +0200

modern.lefty gravatar image

Automatic update has been disabled on a spreadsheet I have linked to another spreadsheet not in the same workbook

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answered 2019-07-12 20:12:48 +0200

Opaque gravatar image

updated 2019-07-12 20:17:52 +0200


this is a bit tricky - and requires two steps

  1. Define the path containing your data source file as a trusted source at Tools -> Options -> LibreOffice -> Security -> Macro Security -> Tab; Trusted Sources -> Cat: Trusted File Locations (using Add button and selecting the directory)

  2. Set in Tools -> Options -> LibreOffice Calc -> Category: Updating -> Option: Always

Note: Don't ask me why it does not enable the options at Edit -> Links to External File ... dialog. The whole thing is a bit weird for me and it took me a long time to relate Macro Security options with updating Links to External Files

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It uses the trusted location(s) under Macro Security because it is all about trust. You do not want to allow arbitrary documents (including those downloaded from the internet) to read external files on your system and execute links to external URIs which may post data to URLs including data just read from your system..

Also note that the linking file needs to be trusted, not the target file linked to. The term data source (though interpreted as opposite to target is correct) might be misleading here for the casual user.

erAck gravatar imageerAck ( 2019-07-12 21:14:33 +0200 )edit

Setting Updating to Always (from trusted locations) btw is not necessary, setting it to On request is fine (which raises an infobar after loading that one can confirm), and in that case the document also doesn't need to be located in one of the trusted locations. Using Always (from trusted locations) is more secure though as external links can't be executed accidentally by mis-clicking.

erAck gravatar imageerAck ( 2019-07-12 21:21:08 +0200 )edit

@erAck: But OP asked for automatic and that's what the answer is about and sorry for my opinion but for me it is confusing and inconsistent even if I understand that it is about security and trust. The help doesn't state anything about trust relationships required (talking about the help section for Edit Links to External File and not about the Updating Option, where there is a note to trust relations) and the option in the dialog still doesn't allow to choose "automatic" because both options keep inactive (with manual selected).

Also note that the linking file needs to be trusted, not the target file linked to

This statement completely confuses me. The location of the file containing the data to be imported into an sheet needs to be trusted and that's what I would call the linked to location

Opaque gravatar imageOpaque ( 2019-07-12 22:20:35 +0200 )edit

OP asked for automatic

Hm.. yeah, maybe. I didn't interpret it adhoc as the completely automatic option.

The location of the file containing the data to be imported into an sheet needs to be trusted

No. Just try it. With the Always option enabled link to a file in trusted from a not in trusted document, save and reopen that document, you'll get the external links infobar. Vice versa linking from a trusted document to a file in any location works.

You want to trust the linking file, if an arbitrary file could read linked to files just because they are in your trusted folders that wouldn't be good..

Also note that the dialog reads "Update links when opening files ... Always (from trusted locations)" (emphasis by me).

erAck gravatar imageerAck ( 2019-07-13 01:50:16 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2019-07-12 18:57:43 +0200

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Last updated: Jul 12