In the “Inoculate” and “Cure” articles, you learned how to protect links before they are broken so that they can automatically be fixed after they are moved or renamed. In the “Move/Rename” lesson, you learned that you can move or rename files using LinkFixer Advanced, while preserving the links between files, even if they have not been inoculated.

In this lesson, you will use LinkFixer Advanced to repair broken links in files that have already been moved or renamed without the benefit of the LinkFixer Advanced “Move/Rename” function and which were not previously inoculated using LinkFixer Advanced. This will illustrate how the LinkFixer Advanced “Modify Links” function can help you fix links that are already broken as the result of a recent data migration or folder restructuring.

To illustrate this, we will break some links in a different set of LinkFixer Advanced sample files that have not been inoculated. Then we will use the “Modify Links” function to fix the broken links.


  1. Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the “\Sample Files\Word Sample Files” folder in the “LinkFixer Advanced” folder on your desktop. Open the “DOC 97-2003” subfolder.
  2. Move (cut and paste) the “Data Files” directory from “DOC 97-2003” up two levels in the directory structure to the “Sample Files” directory. Rename this “Data Files’ folder to “Moved Data Files”. This simulates a move that could occur in a “real-life” data migration that would break any links that point to files in the “Data Files” folder. To verify that this action has broken links, please open the “LFA_Intro.doc” file in the “DOC 97-2003” folder. Click on the links that say “Report”, “Inoculate”, “Cure” or “Move/Rename” and verify that the links are broken.

    Note: Now that we have broken these links, we will scan the parent files to identify the broken links. This is the same procedure you would use to fix links that have already been broken by some previous data migration or rename accident.

  3. Close the “LFA_Intro.doc” file in Word and return to LinkFixer Advanced.
  4. Click on the {Scan} button in the top ribbon menu, as shown below.
  5. Scan the “\Sample Files\Word Sample Files\DOC 97–2003\” folder using the steps you learned in Quick Start Lesson #1.
  6. Open the resulting Scan Report and observe that some of the links are now being reported as “Missing”. This means the links are broken because the child files that the links point to could not be found.
  7. Then, close the Scan Report.
  8. Now, click on the {Modify Links} button in the ribbon menu, as shown below.
  9. The left-side navigation panel shows the steps performed to modify links. In the right-side screen, there are two options to specify the set of parent files whose links are to be modified. Select the “Modify links in a specific selection of files and links” option (as shown below) to modify links in a specific selection of files we will select.
  10. Click the {Next} arrow button. The “Select Folders” section appears. Click on the checkbox next to the “DOC 97-2003” sub-folder, as shown below.
  11. Click the {Next} arrow button. The “Filter Files” screen appears. Select “Process files matching specific file extensions and /or wildcards” option. Check the “Word” checkbox option to process only Microsoft Word file types, as shown below.
    Note: Since all target files in selected folders are in Word format, you could select “Process all files in selected folders” option and see same results.

  12. Click the {Next} arrow button. The “Filter Links” section appears where you can filter the links that you want to process. Select “Process links matching specific file extensions and wildcards” option. Check the “Word” checkbox option to process only links pointing to Microsoft Word file types.
  13. Click the {Next} arrow button. The “Preview Matching Link” section appears where you can preview the results of the link filters you defined in the earlier steps, as shown below.
    Note: The links in the sample files in the “DOC 97-2003” folder are stored as “relative” links. On the “Preview Matching Links” screen, you will notice that none of the link paths shown contains the full (“absolute”) path to the child file. Instead they show the paths to the child files “relative” to the parent files. This “Quick Start” lesson demonstrates the ability of LinkFixer Advanced to handle relative links, and illustrates one method of modifying them.

  14. Click the {Next} arrow button. The “Rename Rule” screen appears. Click the {Add} button to add a new rule. The “Define Rename Rule” dialog appears. Next we will add a rename rule that will rename the links in the parent files in the folder “DOC 97-2003” so that they point to the new location of the moved child files.
  15. In the “Define Rename Rule” dialog box change the “Component to modify:” selection to “Full Filespec”. Then, in the “From:” field, type in “Data Files”, and in the “To:” field type in “..\..\Moved Data Files”. Be sure to type the “From” and “To” fields exactly as shown. Windows interprets the “..\” character sequence to mean “Go up one level in the directory structure”. Here, we repeat this character sequence twice because we know that we moved the Data Files directory up two levels in the directory structure. The “Define Rename Rule” dialog box will now look like this:
    Note: These rename rules will be applied to all the links in all the files in the “DOC 97-2003” directory. LinkFixer Advanced will be able to repair the broken links in this case because we know exactly where the “Data Files” folder was moved to. This would often be the case when links have been broken by a data migration and LinkFixer Advanced is being used after the links are already broken.

  16. Click {OK} to save and close the “Define Rename Rule” dialog box.
  17. In the “Rename Rules” window, you will now see the rename rule that you just added.
  18. Click the {Next} arrow button. The “Preview Links to be Modified” section appears. In the window, you will see “Before” lines showing the selected files and their links as they currently exist. In the “After:” lines, you will see the changes that will be made to the files and links as defined by the rename rules. The items that will be modified are highlighted in yellow text. This screen shows all of the changes that will be made when we run the rename process.
    Trial Reminder: The Modify Links function will process up to 500 links per day, and 5,000 links during the 21-day trial period

  19. Click the {Next} arrow button to advance to the “Perform Modify Links” screen.
  20. Click the {Run} button.
  21. By default, the following warning dialog is shown when the “Clear database” checkbox is checked on the previous “Modify Links Options” navigation screen. Clicking the {Clear} button will clear all file and link data from the database before processing selected files. Clicking the {Don’t clear} button will close the dialog and allow you to go back and uncheck the “Clear database” option on the “Modify Links Options” screen. For this lesson, click the {Clear} button.
  22. When the processing is complete, the LinkFixer Advanced “Modify Links Process Dashboard” window is displayed. You have now successfully modified and fixed the broken links in all of the selected files!
  23. Click on the {View Process Summary} button on the top ribbon menu to open the “Modify Links” report, as shown below.
  24. See the report in detail and note how it the links to child files were automatically fixed using the defined rename rules.
  25. After viewing your report, close the report and exit LinkFixer Advanced.
  26. Using Windows Explorer, open the “LFP_Intro.doc” file in the “DOC 97-2003” folder. Click on the links that say “Report”, “Inoculate”, “Cure” or “Move/Rename” to see that the links are now working properly. LinkFixer Advanced has successfully repaired these broken links, even though they were not previously inoculated!
  27. Now, close Word.