ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.

Excel Tips & Tricks

Excel Tips & Tricks #486 – Revisiting inserting hyperlinks

Author: Bani Lamba

Published: 12 Jan 2024

Exclusive content
Access to our exclusive resources is for specific groups of students, subscribers and members.

Hello and welcome back to Excel Tips and Tricks! This week, we have a Basic User level post in which we take look another look at how to create hyperlinks in your file, to aid quick navigation. We will also cover the differences between hyperlinks in Excel Online and the desktop versions.

This topic was last covered in Tip #202.

Creating a hyperlink

Any cell can be made into a hyperlink, meaning that clicking on the cell will navigate the user automatically to another location. The default options for hyperlinks also will format the cell blue and with an underline:
Revisiting inserting hyperlinks
To create one, we can type the label text, then press Ctrl K. That gets us this menu:
Revisiting inserting hyperlinks
Here we can see the options for 'Place in This Document'. This includes both any named ranges in the workbook, and also each worksheet. The default is to travel to cell A1, but we can type other references if preferred. Unfortunately, you can't select the destination simply by clicking on it, and instead must enter the cell reference here. The 'ScreenTip' button will set what text appears when the user hovers their cursor over the cell.

We can also create a hyperlink to a webpage or document or create a hyperlink that will create a new Excel file or open an email with a pre-filled 'To' or 'Subject' field.

These options let us create a more interactive spreadsheet that links with the computer and internet outside of its own borders, or just implement a simple navigation structure within a larger workbook.

While this article covers hyperlinks manually created in workbooks, rather than automatic ones created by formula with the HYPERLINK function, you can read more on using the HYPERLINK function in Tip #342.

Microsoft MVP, ICAEW Member and contributor to our Excel community - David Benaim, has also covered more on how to create a dynamic table of contents in Excel using the HYPERLINK function in this video you can watch below:

Removing hyperlinks

If you need to remove a hyperlink, open this same menu for the cell that already has one, and a 'Remove Link' button will appear.

Or you can right-click on the hyperlink and click ‘Remove Hyperlink’ from the drop-down menu.
Revisiting inserting hyperlinks

Manage settings for hyperlinks

If you don’t want to automatically create hyperlinks in your workbook as you type, you can turn this setting off.

Under file options, click on ‘Proofing’ and open the ‘AutoCorrect Options’:
Revisiting inserting hyperlinks
This will open up another pop-up menu. Click on the ‘AutoFormat As You Type’ tab and uncheck the ‘Internet and network paths with hyperlinks’ check box.
Revisiting inserting hyperlinks

Differences between hyperlinks in Excel Online browser and desktop versions

There are some differences in how hyperlinks work in Excel Online and in desktop versions of Excel.

You cannot create links to a new external local file or an existing external local file in Excel Online. The insert menu only allows you to create links to webpages, a location in the existing file or an email address.
Revisiting inserting hyperlinks
Excel in the browser will only support hyperlinks that contain a full address. This includes the protocol, the Web Server, the path, and the file name. They do not support relative hyperlinks, which contain only part of a full address. In contrast, Excel desktop supports both absolute hyperlinks and relative hyperlinks.

The colour of a hyperlink will usually be the default hyperlink colour defined for the browser unless you explicitly specify the default hyperlink colour in the Excel workbook.
Archive and Knowledge Base

This archive of Excel Community content from the ION platform will allow you to read the content of the articles but the functionality on the pages is limited. The ION search box, tags and navigation buttons on the archived pages will not work. Pages will load more slowly than a live website. You may be able to follow links to other articles but if this does not work, please return to the archive search. You can also search our Knowledge Base for access to all articles, new and archived, organised by topic.