applied tips : january 2009

microsoft excel : creating hyperlinks

Excel workbooks often reference other workbooks or documents, even websites, that your readers might want to learn more about.

For example, in a budget spreadsheet, the figures for "Painting" might have come directly from a proposal from the vendor.  Or perhaps the figures for "Payroll" came directly from another Excel workbook on the server.

When you or someone else want to refer back to those source documents, it means you have to remember where they are (and that's not always easy to do).

By using Hyperlinks, we can turn regular cells into clickable links (like you'd see on a website) that will take the user to any of the following:

Starting a Hyperlink

Here's how you do it:

  1. Select the cell(s) you wish to make into a hyperlink
  2. Office 2003 users, pull down the Insert menu and choose Hyperlink
    Office 2007 users, click the Insert tab in the ribbon, then click the Hyperlink button
  3. The "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box will appear. The step you take next depends on what you want to link to.

Linking to Other Cells in the Same Worksheet

If you want to link the selected cell to another cell, follow the three steps above under "Starting a Hyperlink", then

  1. Click "Place in This Document" on the left side of the "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box
  2. Under "Type the cell reference", enter the reference such as "F10" of the target cell.
  3. Click OK.

Linking to Other Worksheets

If you want to link the selected cell to another worksheet, follow the three steps above under "Starting a Hyperlink", then

  1. Click "Place in This Document" on the left side of the "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box
  2. If you want to link to a worksheet, and not to a particular cell within that worksheet, select the name of the worksheet under the heading "Or select a place in this document", then click OK and you're done.
  3. If you want to link to a specific cell in another worksheet, then enter the cell reference using the format SheetName!A1, where SheetName is the name of the sheet (followed by an exclamation point) under "Type the cell reference".  If your sheet name contains spaces, you must surround it with apostrophes, like this:  'Jan 2009'!A30
  4. Click OK.

Linking to Other Excel Workbooks

If you want to link the selected cell to somewhere in another Excel Workbook, follow the three steps above under "Starting a Hyperlink", then

  1. Click "Existing File or Web Page" on the left side of the "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box
  2. Using the navigation window, find the target file. You may need to navigate to My Documents or some other folder to find the file you want to link to. When you find it, select it with a single click.
  3. If all you want is to link to this workbook, and not a specific location in the workbook, just click OK. Otherwise, click "Bookmark".
  4. Under "Type the cell reference", enter the reference such as "F10" of the target cell. If you want to link to a worksheet, use the format SheetName!A1, where SheetName is the name of the sheet (followed by an exclamation point).  If your sheet name contains spaces, you must surround it with apostrophes, like this:  'Jan 2009'!A30
  5. Click OK.

Linking to Other Files

If you want to link the selected cell to a Word or PowerPoint or Acrobat file, follow the three steps above under "Starting a Hyperlink", then

  1. Click "Existing File or Web Page" on the left side of the "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box
  2. Using the navigation window, find the target file. You may need to navigate to My Documents or some other folder to find the file you want to link to. When you find it, select it with a single click.
  3. Click OK.

Linking to a Web Page

If you want to link the selected cell to a website or webpage, follow the three steps above under "Starting a Hyperlink", then

  1. Click "Existing File or Web Page" on the left side of the "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box
  2. If you know the exact URL of the website or webpage you want to link to, type or paste it into the "Address" field.  Alternatively, you can click "Browsed Pages" from the navigation window to see a list of the pages you've most recently visited using Internet Explorer. Select the page from the list.
  3. Press OK.

Editing and Removing a Hyperlink

If a cell contains a hyperlink that you want to edit, you can right-click on the cell and choose Edit Hyperlink.

You can also choose "Remove Hyperlink" to remove it. You can also select multiple cells and choose "Hyperlink" then click "Remove Hyperlink" to remove the links from many cells at once.

Link Availability and Network Access

Don't forget that if you are linking to other files or web pages, your reader needs to have access to that same location for they hyperlink to work.

If you've linked to files in My Documents, there is a good chance others on your network will not be able to access them.

Consult your network administrator for more information about file sharing if you are having difficulties sharing documents with others.

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