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I am trying to attach a file to an item. The file has multiple links which provided data to the excel file. these are not hyperlinks but data links to different spreadsheets. When uploaded and trying to access the file from the list item, these links break and the source address is changed to the SharePoint URL which is not where the files are on the system.

Please help

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Your data-links in a Excel files are URIs (see difference between URIs and URLs)

Why SharePoint changes your URIs

SharePoint is a Content Management System so on a site with Publishing enabled SP takes control of all relative URIs
Including those inside files it can process.. that's about any Microsoft filetype!

This method allows for renaming (changing the URL) of pages.. and SP will change all references for you.

This also applies to URIs in the Quicklaunch and inside CEWP and Script files

Absolute URIs are not affected.

Alas this destroys URIs in .xsl, .xslx , .mht etc. files

Link Excel with UNC paths

Microsoft has their UNC (Universal Naming Convention)

If you link spreadsheets with a UNC path it should be taken hostage by SP

https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/59593006-852e-4eaa-a8b1-26cf0f06f914/linking-two-excel-worksheets-in-a-sharepoint-2010-environment?forum=excel#1bc2c44f-c418-45d6-a718-f1b38c562dcd

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