Create Hyperlink in Excel

Excel allows you to insert hyperlinks, jumps between file locations, into its spreadsheet cells or access different document or workbooks. You can create a file at the time you create the hyperlink or link to an existing file or Web page.

You can also create hyperlinks that jump to various locations within the same spreadsheet or to another Excel spreadsheet. In addition, you can edit or delete hyperlinks after creating them. The following steps tell how to do these things for Excel 2003, 2007, and 2010.

How to Create a Hyperlink in Excel

The easiest way to create a hyperlink in Excel is:

  1. Select the cell that you want to add the hyperlink to;
  2. Either:

    • Select the Hyperlink option from the Excel ribbon. This is generally located in the "Insert" tab.
    • Use the mouse to right click on the cell and select Hyperlink from the right-click menu.
    • Press CTRL-K.

    Any of these three options will open up the Insert Hyperlink dialog box, shown below:

    Excel Insert Hyperlink Dialog Box
  3. Type the text that you want to display in the Excel worksheet into the top Text to display: field and then use the options in the dialog box to define your link address.

Hyperlink to a Place in This Document

The second option on the left of the "Insert Hyperlink" window is to Hyperlink to a Place in This Document. If you select this option, you will be presented with options that allow you to select a worksheet and specify a cell reference within the current Excel workbook. In the example shown above (right), the hyperlink will take the user to cell C3 on Sheet3 of the current Excel workbook.

Excel Create Hyperlink to Place in Document

Hyperlink to a Specified Place Within a File

If the file you link to is an Excel file, you can set the hyperlink to go to a specified place within the file that you link to.

To do this, first select the file that you want to link to and then:

  1. Click on the Bookmark... button (which is located on the right hand side of the "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box). This causes the "Select Place in Document" dialog box to appear.
  2. The "Select Place in Document" dialog box gives you the option to select a specific place within a document. For example, the dialog box on the right will link to cell D2 on Sheet2 of the selected Excel workbook.
  3. Once you have specified the location that you want to link to, click OK to close the "Select Place in Document" dialog box and then click OK within the "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box.

Hyperlink to an Existing File or Web Page

The default option in the "Insert Hyperlink" dialog box is to create a hyperlink to an Existing File or Web Page. You can either navigate to the file or web page or you can type the address of the file or web page directly into the Address: field of the dialog box.

Insert Hyperlink to Existing File or Web Page

Hyperlink to a New Document

The third option on the left of the "Insert Hyperlink" window is to create a hyperlink to a New Document. If you select this option, you will be presented with a window that asks you to specify the name and location of the new document. If you enter these details, and click OK, a new Excel document will be created and hyperlinked to.

Hyperlink to an E-Mail Address

The final option on the left of the "Insert Hyperlink" window is to create a hyperlink to an e-mail address. Selecting this option allows you to specify an e-mail address to link to, either by typing the address directly into the window, or selecting from recently used e-mail addresses.

You can also insert hyperlinks by using the HYPERLINK function.

HYPERLINK function in Excel

Creates a shortcut or jump that opens a document stored on a network server, an intranet, or the Internet. When you click the cell that contains the HYPERLINK function, Excel opens the file that is stored at link location.

HYPERLINK(location, [name])

The HYPERLINK function syntax has the following arguments:

  • location (Required). The path and file name to the document to be opened. It can refer to a place in a document — such as a specific cell or named range in an Excel worksheet or workbook, or to a bookmark in a Microsoft Word document. The path can be to a file that is stored on a hard disk drive. The path can also be a universal naming convention (UNC) path on a server (in Microsoft Excel for Windows) or a Uniform Resource Locator (URL) path on the Internet or an intranet.
  • name (Optional). The jump text or numeric value that is displayed in the cell. It is displayed in blue and is underlined. If this argument is omitted, the cell displays the link location as the jump text. It can be a value, a text string, a name, or a cell that contains the jump text or value.

You can use a HYPERLINK formula to link to a cell within the active workbook, or to another Excel file. The pound sign (#) at the start of the address indicates that the location is within the current file.

Link Within the Same File. For example, use this formula to create a hyperlink to cell B2 on Sheet2:

=HYPERLINK("#Sheet2!B2","Budget")

You could also use the & operator to create a link location. Here, the sheet name is in cell B5, the cell address is in C5, and the friendly name is in cell D5.

=HYPERLINK("#"&"’" & B5 & "’!" & C5, D5)

For a link to a named range in the same workbook, just use the range name as the link location.

=HYPERLINK("#StartCell","StartCell")

Link to Another Excel File. To create a link to another Excel file, in the same folder, just use the file name as the link_location argument for the HYPERLINK function.

=HYPERLINK("MyFileC.xlsx","FileC")

For files that are up a level or more in the hierarchy, use two periods and a backslash for each level. In this example, the file is 1 level up.

=HYPERLINK("..\MyFileB.xlsx","FileB")

In this example, the file is 2 levels up.

=HYPERLINK("..\..\MyFileA.xlsx","FileA")

How to Stop Automatic Hyperlinks in Excel

If you don’t want hyperlinks automatically created when you type a website address, you can turn the hyperlinking feature off.

To turn the hyperlink option off:

  1. On the Excel Ribbon, click the File tab, then click Options.
  2. Click the Proofing category, and click the AutoCorrect Options button .
  3. On the AutoFormat As You Type tab, remove the check mark from Internet and network paths with hyperlinks.
  4. Click OK, twice, to close the dialog boxes.

Remember - if you move a file connected to an Excel spreadsheet by hyperlink to a new location, you will have to edit the hyperlink to include the new file location.