Dropbox change breaks pathway for Excel graphs embedded in Word -- How to fix for teams?

Karim Ani 0 Reputation points

Our team uses Dropbox for Mac to collaborate on Microsoft Word documents. Many of our Word documents include embedded graphs from Excel. The pathways for these links are absolute, e.g.

/Users/Citizen Math/Citizen Math Dropbox/Lessons/LessonName/Spreadsheet.xlsx

Normally, Dropbox automatically places the root directory in the user's main directory, in my case "karimani." However, this would break the connection between Excel and Word for other members of my team, since their directories are named something other than "karimani." As a workaround, everyone on our team (1) created a new directory called "Citizen Math" in the Users directory, then (2) moved our Dropbox directory there. That way, whenever someone opens a Word file with an embedded Excel sketch, the graph's pathway is the same for everyone.

Screenshot 2023-05-24 at 9.55.31 AM

However, Dropbox recently announced a new change which breaks this. Instead of allowing users to designate where to save the Dropbox directory, it will move everything to a new directory within the user's home directory. In my case, this would be Users/karimani/Library/CloudStorage. Since this pathway includes "karimani," the links can no longer be the same for everyone on the team.

The way I understand it, the problem does not exist with Dropbox. Rather, the problem is due to the fact that Microsoft uses embedded links that are absolute (i.e. starting at the home directory and going forward) and not relative (i.e. starting at the Word document and going backwards).

Is there any way to fix this? Specifically, is there a way for teams to collaborate on Word documents that include embedded Excel graphs without having to update/change the graph's link pathway each time?

A family of Microsoft word processing software products for creating web, email, and print documents.
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  1. Emily Hua-MSFT 26,921 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi @Karim Ani

    Here is a similar thread you may have a check:

    MS Word for Mac - I need links that are relative, not absolute

    John Korchok shared an article, you may backup the document first, and try to following those steps to use Find/Replace to change the path in link fields.

    Besides, you may also post a new thread on the request in following community, that using relative paths for links in Word document.

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